2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"Everything's a secret here",
This review is from: Flower of Evil [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
"The flower of evil" (= "La fleur du mal"), directed by Claude Chabrol, is centered on an upper middle-class family, the Charpin-Vasseurs. This family seems perfect but has dark and deep secrets, as seen from the very first scenes of this movie. What is wrong with the members of this family? Chabrol's mission is to make us care about the answer to this question...
The story begins with a crime, and continues many years later, when Francois Vasseur (Benoît Magimel), returns home after spending four years in the United States. Gérard (Bernard Le Coq), his father, is happy to see Francois again, but disturbed by the fact that his wife Anne Charpin-Vasseur (Nathalie Baye) is involved in politics and running for mayor. Francois doesn't have a very good relationship with Gérard, but is pleased to see his stepmother Anne, his aunt Line (Suzanne Flon) and specially his stepsister and first cousin Michèle (Melanie Doutey).
Truth to be told, Francois left France because he had strong feelings towards Michèle, feelings she reciprocated. Is he now ready to act on those feelings? And what impact will that relationship have on the dynamics of his family, already disturbed by Anne's incursion into politics and old scandals that surface again? "The flower of evil" answers these questions, and tackles subjects such as the cyclical nature of life, the importance of secrecy in some lives, guilt and the need to keep up appearances ("il faut faire belle figure").
All in all, I think that this film will interest those who are fond of whodunnits, but that can also appreciate complex psychological studies that make a movie more interesting. Of course, recommended.
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Location: Los Angeles, California
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