Monday, 25 March 2019


Isabelle emerges from a long coma to discover that the novel in which she was the main character has been turned into an episode of France's most popular TV series.

The bottom line: When Isabelle met Marleau.

After Gérard Depardieu, Pierre Arditi (Blood of the Vine) or David Suchet (Agatha Christie's Poirot), France 3's megahit crime drama Capitaine Marleau welcomes another very special guest star alongside Corinne Masiero as Marleau: the great Isabelle Adjani. Helmed as usual by director and series co-producer Josée Dayan, Ne plus mourir, jamais is based on the 2008 namesake novel written by Franco-British scriptwriter/author Marc Eisenchteter. He co-wrote the adaptation with Christian François, Elsa Marpeau (who created Capitaine Marleau) and Corinne Masiero. 

Eisenchteter previously penned the very good Suchet episode (Sang et lumière) with British-American writer and musician John McNulty. In Ne plus, mourir jamais, Isabelle Adjani plays Isabelle Laumont, a laboratory researcher who leaves the hospital some months after her awakening from a 15-year coma caused by an accident. She's firmly decided to reconquer her scientific work and her family. Particularly her companion, Richard Tamani, who ended up marrying Élise Jeanson, the babysitter. Isabelle is now a stranger to Aurore, her teenage daughter, and only her son Tom supports her. Élise is found dead in the river Charente, murdered. 

Capitaine Marleau announces the news to Richard and she visits Isabelle, who becomes the main suspect. This is not the first time that Marleau is shoehorned into the plot of a novel, not unlike when Columbo (an acknowledged influence of Capitaine Marleau) used two novels of Ed McBain with mixed results. Last year's episode Double jeu was based on the novel Le sosie de la morgue by Claude Luxel (alias Lucien Riffard). Published in 1935, it was first adapted in 1949 for the cinema as Entre onze heures et minuit (directed by Henri Decoin). Josée Dayan herself wanted to film her own adaptation of Le sosie de la morgue in 2015 with Gérard Depardieu and Fanny Ardant but the movie wasn't made.

Double jeu was an unsatisfactory substitute to Josée Dayan's film project and a rather odd departure from the series format, worsened by an awkward origin story of Marleau. Ne plus mourir, jamais is less an episode of Capitaine Marleau than the book of Marc Eisenchteter brought to the screen. Isabelle Adjani is both convincing and touching. Marleau is so self-aware that she seems to know she's on TV. Also with Thibault de Montalembert (Richard Tamani), Didier Flamand (Professor Lalou), Yannick Renier (Vincent Duparc), Quentin Dolmaire (Tom Tamani), Lily Taïeb (Laurianne Petitbois), Raph (Aurore Tamani), Sarah Pasquier (Élise Jeanson Tamani) and Christine Murillo (Valérie Wilkins).

Produced by Passionfilms and Gaspard and Co with France Télévisions. With the participation of Radio Télévision Suisse and R.T.B.F. (Télévision belge). Filmed with the support of Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Produced by Josée Dayan and Gaspard de Chavagnac. Cinematography by Stefan Ivanov. Editing by Yves Langlois. Music by Catherine Lara and Cyrille Lehn. Capitaine Marleau is available in the U.S. on VOD service MHZ Choice under the title Captain Marleau. (Double jeu (Sang et lumière)

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