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Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime pays since a child can see through it !, 18 Nov 2003
This review is from: Les Diaboliques [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Simone Signoret is one of the greatest French actresses that ever lived. In this film, in black and white mind you and that black and white is used to perfection, the perfection that Hitchcock reached in many of his films, Simone Signoret gets us involved in an extremely sombre and dark thriller where she plays a double game, killing without killing in order to kill with the intent to kill. Transitive or transferred killing. That is fascinating and the punch line is absolutely amazing and shocking in many ways. That film is also a deep discourse on French society ten years after the second World War : bleak and sinister. Education is shown as a constant torture of the poor boys who are the victims of their teachers . Married life is shown as a sham and a total hypocritical lie without any love. And love is shown as the most drastically criminal motivation in life. Love can only exist as the outcome of murder. But Simone Signoret goes even farther because we never know if she is an angel of justice or a devil of crime. She is both an angel of light and hope and at the same time a devil of darkness and despair. She is able to assume this double personality and to make us feel a desire to kill because it seems to be the only humane solution. And yet she constantly gives us this aftertaste that has the texture of blood and guilt. And yet the punchline is absolutely frightening because it shows how little each one of us is when in the hands of such a schizophrenic criminal and her own doppelganger. She is a Janus of crime and of life at the same time. Life is just like crime, a lie and a sham, a desire and a fear, a pleasure and a pain, an enjoyment and a torture. This original film is a hundred times better than its American remake, Games , because there is no humor, no fun, no laughter, not even a smile in Les Diaboliques , whereas we can smile with satisfaction at the end of Games , the satisfaction that the criminal is the real judge, executioner and angel of justice. Here Simone Signoret is a dreadful encounter that we must by all means avoid if we want to survive and remain sane.
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4.3 out of 5 stars (47 customer reviews)
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