Friday, August 31, 2012

THIS MAN MUST DIE (French) (1969)

‘The beast must die. But the man too. One and the other must die.’

Tonight I ended up watching one of the best and rare revenge films ever seen. No it’s not anything like those hackneyed formulaic thrill and action that we witnessed umpteen times. Instead of unfolding usual lines of revenge film genre, the film brought dark and yet sensible and poetic juxtaposition of crime and drama helmed so maturely like those absorbing classical Greek tragedies as it reaches towards the end. Here’s a film which questions the very notion of revenge and justice. So far this is one of the best Chabrol film without an iota of doubt.

It begins with a reckless car drive and an accident that killed a young boy. The father of the boy aiming the revenge became so obsessed with finding the man and making him pay no easy way. It’s not easy task and so he keeps meddling for the clues and links and his own hypothesis. Finally by chance he discovers the man named Paul responsible for killing his son but in order to get to the real criminal, he has to play a role of a lover. When he encounters Paul, he’s just shocked to see his brutal beast like attitude towards his family members. That tense filled dinner table scene is brilliantly executed introducing us the monstrous lousy man in form of Paul. The story takes absolutely different turn from that moment and reaching towards something that you haven’t imagined. Saying anything further about the plot is crime.

Like most of Chabrol films, it has fine performances from the cast, especially the two man playing cat and mouse opposite each other, Michael Duchaussoy and Jean Yanne. The way Chabrol used diary as prop in perspective and mise en scene grabs attention that serves as ambivalence about the death of Paul before it was cleared in the end. It’s so grippingly and intriguingly managed by Chabrol. 

Must see is the understatement here

No comments: