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2015年11月28日 星期六

Un Homme Idéal (A Perfect Man) (完美的男人)

The title of my next film at the French film festival may not be all that we initially think: Un Homme Idéal (A Perfect Man) (完美的男人). Directed by Yann Gozlan and co-written by him with Guillaume Lemans and Grégoire Vigneron and starring the award winning Pierre Niney as Mathieu Vasseur, an aspiring and then a famous writer and Ana Girardot as his wife Alice Furnac, the principal protagonists, the story is about how a nobody working as a house-moving laborer who dreams of becoming a novelist actually became one by stealing the memoires of the Algerian War in 1957 and 1958 in manuscript form (before he was born) written of one of his company's customers during one of the removal exercises and passing it off as his own work.

At the official reception for the promotion of Mathieu's  novel, "The Black Sand", which received much critical acclaim, he got to know Alice (Ana Girardo) whom he had previously listened to briefly as a removal worker when she was giving a talk on the relation between the sensation of "perfume" and literature. She was overwhelmed by his talent and introduced him to her very wealthy parents who were also involved in the publication business and adopted him as a member of his family headed by her father Alain Fursac (André Marcon) and her mother Hélène Fursac(Valéria Cavalli). But in fact, he knew he had no talent in writing although he kept on pretending to be writing at his room and the advances given him by his publisher were soon exhausted and his credit at the bank was close to being terminated and after three years his publisher became impatient for his next manuscript and set September as the final deadline. It became urgent that he produce one. He thought of repeating his trick by downloading the work of another not very famous author and passing it off as his own work and gave it to Alice for comment. In the meantime, a stranger Vincent (Sacha Mijovic)  appeared, an ex-combattant and a friend of the true author of "The Black Sand" and started to blackmail him for $50,000 Euros. He told him he hadn't got the money but was told that his parents-in- law were wealthy. At his wits end, he stole some antique guns from Alain and broke a window to make it look as if a burglar had done so but before he had time to deliver them over to his blackmailer, was discovered by a family friend Stanislas Richer (Thibault Vinçon). He wanted to invent a story of why the "missing guns" were found in his wooden chest but was not given the chance. A struggle ensued in which he hit Stanislas a bit too hard and killed him. He disposed of the body at night by throwing it into the sea after covering it in a  blue plastic bag and securedly tied it with ropes and attached  some some lead weights on to the body. In the meantime, he got the relevant inspiration and write about an author who passed himself off as the true author of a famous novel which he called Faux Sembalnts (Pretences) and gave it to Alice. The decomposed body surfaced after a number of days. The police came and told that they'd need to take DNA samples from each of the occupants of Fursac residence. He knew that were they to take his sample, they would have found traces of his skin or his blood on Stanislas's body that got attached to the latter's body during their scuffle. He could never allow that to happen. So he hatched another plan. He told Vincent he could take him to the Fursac home when the Fursacs left for a holiday and  but before doing so, he secretly inserted a coin in the front passenger safety belt socket so that the safety belt could not be fastened and in the middle of the journey,  slammed the car at a murderous speed into a rocky surface of a nearby hill. Vincent died instantly on impact. He then attached his watch on his wrist to make it look like that it was he himself who died and then set everything on fire and disappeared forever. When the film ends, two years later, we see him looking through a window at the same bookshop his first novel was promoted, when his own novel,Faux Semblants  was read by Alice to the audience, his baby in her arm. He continued his former life as a removal worker.

It was a Hitchkok like movie full of suspense throughout an hour and 37 minutes: we are constantly made to wonder if Mathieu would be found out. The suspense was not relieved till the very end.  A gripping thriller with an ironic twist and  Pierre Niney put in another superb performance.A great deal of credit must go to Cyrille Aufort who composed original music for the film, music which helped to create the relevant mood and suspense.