Written and Directed by Pierre Granier-Deferre
From a novel by Georges Simenon
Starring Alain Delon, Simone Signoret
It's tragic that I happen to be both a film enthusiast and an admirer of Belgian writer Georges Simenon.
I can never resist the curiosity of watching his film adaptations, each time hoping for a magical experience, even though I know perfectly that Simenon's unique prose is unfilmable.
I found the first hour of the film to be truly enjoyable, with excellent performances by Alain Delon and Simone Signoret ("Le Chat").
It seemed that before me was a work of a great master, confident and minimalist in style.
The rural setting was fairly convincing, and almost total absence of music highly effective.
Then the, ahem, "culmination" arrived and it all turned into unbearably trite melodrama.
I realised that director Granier-Deferre had no clue what he was doing.
So what derailed such an auspicious project?
The main culprit is the idiotic script which after faithfully following the course of the novel throughout the first two acts suddenly gets all incredibly stupid and sort-of "action-packed" towards the end, completely ruining the atmosphere and failing to transmit the message of Simenon's novel.
My cinematic Simenon experiences so far:
I've seen Cédric Kahn's "Feux Rouges"(2004) which was average, and "En cas de malheur"(1958) with Bardot which was close to unbearable, with Melville's "L'aîné des Ferchaux" being the least painful experience.