Top critical review
Mr Durand calling
on 16 November 2015
Detective Pierre Fresnay (Wens) goes to stay in a boarding house in the guise of a priest in order to catch a serial killer – Mr Durand. His annoying girlfriend Suzy Delair (Mila) also checks in and we meet a cast of characters who may or may not be the killer.
The film starts well with the sequence of the drunk lottery winner in the bar and the mysterious woman wanting to befriend him. We follow his story but it is pretty short-lived. It’s a gripping beginning and one that draws you into the film which, at this point, looks like it is going to be an effective thriller. The next memorable scene comes when the petty criminal is sitting on the bus shelter and insulting the policeman – very funny. However, that’s where the comedy should have stopped. Unfortunately, the whole film descends into a comedy/mystery and so all tension is diffused and the audience just watches without any real emotional connection. It could have been so much better.
There are other pluses - the dialogue is sharp and magician Jean Tissier (Triquet) lives in an amusing room cluttered with objects that are no longer functional - and minuses – Delair’s voice is annoying and on my copy, the subtitles weren’t quite in sync so it helped that I understood French so as to follow who was saying what. As entertainment, the film is an ok whodunit like many others.