Opening 2 Apr 2015
This French drama based on a novel by George Simenon opens in a hotel room in the Bleues Chambre Hotel. Here in bed lies Esther Despierre (Stéphanie Cléau), dressed in nothing but pearls, while her very recent lover Julian Gahyde (Mathieu Amalric) looks out the window. In flashbacks we learn that they have met up eight times, each time cheating on their respective partners: Delphine Gehyde (Léa Drucker) and Nicolas Despierre (Olivier Mauvezin). Every Thursday Esther holds a hand towel out of the upstairs window of the pharmacy where she works; that is the sign for a renewed tête-á-tête (since we are being French here). That’s perhaps all quite normal (at least in France), until several corpses liter the scene, i.e., the man from the pharmacy as well as Esther’s husband Nicolas, as a start. Julian tries to remember what happened, while being questioned by the police. It seems that it was all some kind of dream turned nightmare; he remembers nothing.
Julian had everything, a nice wife, a daughter Suzanne, a business called Agri Tech, and a beautiful house. How did he get into this plight? Who is the evil person in this plot? It takes 45 minutes before we know any of this and 65 minutes before we begin to comprehend the reason for sitting in the cinema. This is a nicely constructed film, but, really, you can watch it on TV sooner or later, or check out the DVD, or even read the book, hopefully in your own language. (Becky Tan)