Maigret | Third Space


Tue 10 May 2022
The great French detective

3 out of 5 stars

Most cinema goers may know the names Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot. Still, many worldwide may not be as familiar with the literary detective legend, Jules Maigret. This legendary character was created by the prolific Belgian author, Georges Simenon, who wrote 75 novels and 28 short stories that included the police commissioner. In this latest cinematic venture, the famous pipe-smoking character is portrayed by France’s most famous actor, Gerard Depardieu (Cyrano de Bergerac).

Set in 1953 Paris, the mystery begins with the discovery of a beautiful young woman who has been horrifically murdered and has no identity. Inspector Jules Maigret (Depardieu) is given the case and takes a particular interest in discovering this mysterious beauty that no one was willing to claim. With little to go on, the seasoned police officer must search for anyone who might know of her past and how she was killed on a Parisian street. As he uncovers elements of the nameless lady, he happens upon Betty (Jade Labeste). She has a resemblance to the murder victim and someone from his past. As he unearths the backgrounds of both women, Maigret finds opposition from the wealthiest influencers in Paris and must determine if it is worth identifying the person who perpetrated this crime.

Over the years, this crime-fighting figure has been portrayed in television and movies, even though he has not received the worldwide attention he possibly deserves. French writer/director Patrice Leconte (Monsieur Hire, Ridicule, The Girl On The Bridge) may not get exposure for his film on the world stage. Still, with Gerard Depardieu in the title role, he may get the attention this story deserves. Despite being a tale with familiar undertones, it still has the intrigue that will capture audiences' imagination and show how great stories stand the test of time. While it is shot in dark, shadowy tones with shaky camera methods, it will hold the modern viewers' attention until the end.

The film does not have excessive action or overly dramatised dialogue, but it does have Gerard Depardieu. His command of every scene and use of space makes up for the minimalist manner of vernacular. This becomes a master class in understatement and shows how great stories can be driven by subtlety and well-placed camera angles. Maigret may not be credited with car chases or gunfire. Yet, this film provides audiences with a lesson in fantastic character development and the value of a timeless narrative.

Reel Dialogue: Can justice be done?

One of the key themes of this detective film is the underlying desire for justice for those forgotten within society. Things become evident within the motives of the legendary inspector as the story unfolds. Yet, he does appear to be an agent for the marginalised in this world.

In our modern global community, law enforcement, the judicial system and even God seem to be questioned on their ability to handle the proper administration of justice. How can we know that justice will prevail in this world? Thankfully, despite the most desperate situations, there are answers to these questions and the role of righteous judge has been taken. The Bible does provide solutions to the subject of justice in our lifetime and how it will play out throughout eternity. Why not consider these answers to your questions today.

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. - Isaiah 30:18

What else does the Bible have to say about justice? Psalm 37:27-29, Luke 6:37, Romans 12:19

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