Thursday, 25 April 2013


A man is found dead on the beach of Saint-Malo, buried up to his neck in the sand and drowned by the rising tide. Adjudant-chef Eric Vautier, of the Gendarmerie, is reluctant to share the investigation with police officer Lieutenant Gwenaële Garrec from Rennes.

He's even skeptic when she identifies the modus operandi as a torture practiced by 17th century local pirates. But Gwen knows a lot about their history, which proves useful for Vautier because the case is linked to a treasure hunt. Death strikes again and some answers could be hidden on the Mont-Saint-Michel and in the lieutenant's past.

« Je ne voudrais pas passer pour un guignol auprès du boulet que la P.J. de Rennes nous a mis dans les pattes.
- Moi aussi je suis enchantée de vous rencontrer. »

The versatile and talented Bruno Solo (Blood on the Docks, the Vérité si je mens franchise) and Louise Monot (OSS 117: Lost in Rio) star as the effective detective duo of Meurtres à Saint-Malo, a very good mystery/crime TV movie written and directed by Lionel Bailliu (Elodie Bradford, the Academy award-nominated short Squash) for French pubcaster France 3. Monot finds the right tone as the erudite lieutenant hit by a personal drama and Solo is perfect as the grumpy gendarme who has to cope with his wife's precocious Alzheimer.

« Je vous comprends très bien. Il faut beaucoup de courage pour renoncer à l'espoir. »

The well-crafted plot keeps the 17th pirate part of the story strictly in the background for the sake of the whodunit and its welcomed couple of twists. There are small doses of humour and of required "police action". Bailliu also aptly takes advantage of the Saint-Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel locations. Meurtres à Saint-Malo is produced by Iris Bucher for Quad Television with AT-Production, R.T.B.F. (Belgian television), France Télévisions, TV5Monde and the support of Région Bretagne and the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée. The music is by Laurent Juillet.

The supporting cast includes Micky Sébastian and Patrick RaynalSwann Arlaud plays Gwenaële Garrec's brother Loïc, Lety Pardalys is Nicole Vautier, Thierry Barbet is Guyvarch (Vautier's second in command) and Loïc Baylacq is eye-patched repo man Le Goff. Aired last tuesday by France 3, Meurtres à Saint-Malo brilliantly came as the unexpected rating challenger of CSI (aired by TF1) with 4.770.000 viewers (17.8%). This TV movie, distributed by AB International Distribution, really deserves a subsequent series.

In French:

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