Monday, April 5, 2010

Garde à vue (1981)

Most of this movie's scenes are set in Inspector Gallien's office, from 31 December 9 p.m. to New Year's Day 7 a.m.. Mr. Martinaud (Michel Serrault), a lawyer, is called to a police station. What seems to be a simple dog business turns into a story of the rapes and murders of two little girls on November 23 and December 3, in which Martinaud is the prime suspect. Martinau found the 2nd body. Martinaud claims he was in the wrong place at the wrong time both times, but Inspector Gallien (Lino Ventura) finds unexplainable things in Martinaud's testimony: If Martinau was merely taking a walk when finding the body, why chose a muddy path, as the body was lying on a muddy ground. How could he recognize the body as the face was down? Was he really strolling near the lighthouse when the first murder took place? Why he changes his story afterwards, claimed that he was with a prostitute? Why lies at first when his relationship with his wife is not well. After midnight, Martinaud's wife (Romy Schneider) comes and her story convinces Gallien that Martinau is really the killer of the two little girls. There is a surprise in the ending, though.

With Michel Audiard wrote the dialogues, this is an interesting movie to watch, even though there is no action. During the interrogation, we learn so much about Martinaud and his sad relationship with his wife. So bad the relationship is that his wife takes trouble to come to the police station so late at night to incriminate her husband - apart from the letters she has written to Gallien. Not much screen time of Romy Schneider, but she was wonderful as usual, especially in the ending, when she finds the truth.

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