Inspecteur Lavardin

1986 [FRENCH]

Crime / Drama / Mystery

0
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 1134

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June 07, 2021 at 09:06 AM

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923.18 MB
1204*720
fre 2.0
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23.976 fps
1 hr 40 min
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1.67 GB
1792*1072
fre 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 40 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jameswtravers 6 / 10

A pretty good detective film, with some very unconventional characters

This is actually rather a good, but not particularly noteworthy, detective movie. Chabrol re-uses a character of an earlier film, Inspecteur Lavardin from Poulet au Vinaigre, which was probably the most successful ingredient of that film. This later film is more entertaining and accessible than Poulet, primarily because it benefits from having a much better script, with more than a smattering of humour. In addition, the main characters are better drawn and acted than in Poulet. Of particular note are Jean-Claude Brialy playing Lavardin's outrageously camp and eccentric host, and Jean Poiret, now comfortably installed in the role of the unconventional, if not to say dangerous, detective Lavardin.

The plot is quite sophisticated, with some clever twists and turns. The unmasking of the murderer and the transfer of guilt are quite cleverly engineered, although the conclusion does raise some questions about Lavardin's (and Chabrol's?) own personal morality. That, coupled with Lavardin's somewhat brutal technique from extracting truth from the witnesses and suspects, can only serve to undermine his position as the good guy in any subsequent film.

Reviewed by jotix100 7 / 10

Sex, lies and the hidden camera

A serene scene showing two young boys playing above a quiet beach changes completely as a dead man is seen naked in the rocks below, with the word "pork" written on his back. The man, Raoul Mons, a successful writer, has appeared before at his home just about to have dinner with his family. He is summoned to the front door where a group of concerned citizens have to come to enlist his support in condemning a theatrical troupe that is staging a blasphemous play in town. Mons, it will be discovered was a man living a double life.

Enter Inspector Jean Lavardin, an astute investigator who also happens to be acquainted with the widow of the dead man, Helene Mons. The inspector was called to help solve Raoul Mons' death. Lavardin is puzzled as to the reaction of this woman, who confesses she hated the dead man and had only married him for convenience's sake. Lavardin encounters a strange household in which a homosexual man, Claude, has a strange hobby of creating human eyes. In his collection there are eyes of celebrities as well as ordinary people. Then there is a teen ager, Veronique, who is docile, sweet and shy, at least on the surface.

It takes Lavardin a while to sort through all the clues he discovers during his visit to the Mons' estate in the outskirts of the small town by the sea. He catches a tangled web where wealthy citizens of the town have been involved with the shady owner of the disco in the heart of the old town. The revelations are surprising as well as the conclusion to this story.

Claude Chabrol brings back Inspector Lavardin, who surfaced to fame in his previous film, "Poulet et Vinagre". Jean Poiret returns as the inspector who discovers that what he is being told is not necessarily the truth. All the elements of the detective genre are found in this film that for us was not as satisfying as the previous film, although the movie is by no means a misfire. Mr. Chabrol's son Mathieu created the music score and Jean Rabier, a good cinematographer captured the story in glorious detail.

Jean Poiret is fun to watch because he doesn't act like a regular detective. He has his own methods which pay for him handsomely. Bernadette Lafont, an actress that has worked with Chabrol before, plays a woman who is mourning for a former husband while having to deal with the mystery at hand. Jean-Claude Brialy is fun to watch as Claude, the gay sculptor of eyes. Jean-Luc Bideau is the creepy owner of the disco.

The film will please fans of Mr. Chabrol.

Reviewed by the red duchess 7 / 10

Witty Chabrol teaser(possible spoilers)

The great thing about Inspecteur Lavardin is that he has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. He is, as an old friend remarks, 'an ex-thug, now a cop'. He has none of the wit, eccentricity or flair we expect from our fictional detectives, none of the artistic mathematics of Holmes, the dandy comedy of Poirot, the dogged integrity of Marlowe, or even the warped moral fervour of Harry Callahan. He is a grim authoritarian, illiberal, homophobic, who counters wit with a threat, menaces the vulnerable and weak; utterly humorless, any wit merely self-satisfaction at someone else's discomfort.

He is the perfect vehicle for Chabrol's art, a moral force whose godlike powers of detection and final rewarding of spoils subvert his social, rational role. In Chabrol's world, the innocent are always guilty, but sometimes he sounds a grace note, and the guilty can be truly innocent. Lavardin doesn't solve a crime, he exposes hypocrisy, corruption, evil. Chabrol's later (post-1975) films are less vice-like than his mid-period masterpieces, and in some there is hope for trapped characters to escape, as does the shadowy Peter Manguin, who in a previous Chabrol film would have been driven to inexorable, elaborate murder.

it's not all that rosy though - the final image of the 'restored' bourgeois household, mother and daughter staring out zombie-like at the departing detective, has some of the ironic force of 'La Femme Infidele''s ending, a bitter image of withdrawn, probably mad maternity, and an innocence that has seen too much.

As with the first Lavardin film, 'Poulet et Vinaigre', surveillance is the main theme. In Chabrol's earlier films, spying was a form of control by one person on another; here his net casts longer. Chabrol is famous for his switches in point of view, in spending much of the film with one character, before abruptly turning to another, complicating, even casting doubt, on the preceding narrative.

Although most of of this film is seen from Lavardin's commanding point of view, there are moments when the film seems to escape it (e.g. Francis' first appearance, or Veronique's final blackmailing pay-off), but Lavardin is soon revealed to be gathering knowledge unobserved, a virtual panopticon from which no-one is free (not even the paparazzi who seem to catch him with Helene unobserved on the beach).

much is made of new media of surveillance - the case is solved by a hidden camera, a point of view significantly taken up by Chabrol's camera before it is revealed - but these are simply extensions of Lavardin's gaze: in one brilliant scene, the 'real' world of the film and that at a remove through CCTV cameras meet, when the inspector talks to a man in the same room we see on screen. To reinforce the point, a key figure in the plot has as a hobby the exquisite sculpting of marble eyeballs, in a scene which virtually gives away the plot early on.

the big difference between this film and its predecessor is the figure of Lavardin. In 'Poulet', he is a shadowy figure who only dominates in the last quarter. Here, he is on screen from nearly the beginning, and has profound personal links with the case, the murdered man's wife having been a lover who abandoned him. He claims his amateur searching for her led him to the force. The closing, bitter joke, however, involving the photo of his family, casts doubt even on this intriguing psychologising.

As ever with Chabrol, there is a strong comic element in the film, strangely disrupting the film's earnestness - the murder scene, with its threat of rape, is made ridiculous by the victim's porcine squealing. The bourgeois-baiting comedy is so entrenched in Chabrol as to have lost most of its sting, although the rigid framing of the family dinners, despite all the criminal goings on, is priceless.

The characteristic Chabrolian 'metaphysical' implications are at first rendered absurd with the blasphemous play, but when Lavardin replaces the crucifix after he's solved the case, and his general sense of a haunted house (this is one film where the present is fractured by the past in a startling way, not least in its references to Chabrol's previous oeuvre) that you're not quite sure. It's a shock to see Bernadette Lafont, that sexually voracious force of early Chabrol so prim, distant and bourgeois, although there's the odd glint in that huge come-hither mouth that suggests otherwise.

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