The boundaries between good and evil are exposed in this gripping French true-crime thriller.
Young and ambitious police Captain Yohan Vivés has just been appointed group leader at the Grenoble Criminal Squad when the murder case of Clara Royer lands on his desk. Vivés and his team investigate Clara’s complex life and relations, but what starts as a professional and methodical immersion into the victim’s life soon turns into a haunting obsession.
Inspired by a true story, and winner of six French César awards (including best film), this starts out as a typical police procedural but becomes something much more unsettling and thought-provoking. The chess pieces and board remain recognisable, yet the game is played differently. The genre’s stock characters: the all-work-no-play boss, the jaded older cops, the gruff one who gets on everyone’s nerves, are used adeptly, while the limited number of locations keeps things lean. Bastien Bouillon flits convincingly between charismatic and awkward as the cop facing his own dark night of the soul, and there’s solid support from Bouli Lanners as Marceau, Vivès’ veteran partner. When done right, crime dramas can grip like no other, as is the case with this captivating slow-burn.
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