Dark Light

L’adversaire FR 2002 (120′)- Dir.: Nicole Garcia. With Daniel Auteuil, Géraldine Pailhas, François Cluzet. My rating 3 stars | Official site | dvd

In 1993, France was shocked by a crime that nobody understood: A man killed his wife, his two children and both his parents; he tried to commit suicide. He had been lying for 18 years to his family and friends, and to finish with this dark secret. The man survived, and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Nicole Garcia, who is one of France’s finest actresses, previously directed Place Vendôme, a similar dark story about the misery of middle class life. But this story is actually a true one, which makes watching the film even more terrifying. The film is based on the book with the same title, by Emmanuel Carrère published in 2000 (also translated in English), but I wonder if people who do not know the background story will understand anything of the film. L’Adversaire has good and appropriate undercooled acting (Daniel Auteuil plays the disturbed Jean-Marc), and the whole film is very tense. However, I would not recommend this film if you are already depressed, or a compulsive liar. Or both…

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