Tuesday, 7 May 2019

CRIMES PARFAITS: POUR L'ÉTERNITÉ/À COEUR OUVERT (EPISODES 13 & 14, FRANCE 3)

French pubcaster France 3's detective drama Crimes parfaits is a "semi-anthology" where a murderer known from the start thinks he/she has committed the perfect crime but a detective (different in every couple of episodes) proves him/her wrong. 

It's the concept of the inverted detective story, popularized by Columbo though created in literature many years before the famous lieutenant.

Launched in 2017, Crimes parfaits is one of the many hits of France 3. The channel is the happy home of Commissaire Magellan, Mongeville, Meurtres à... or Capitaine Marleau. The later is no less than the most popular TV series in France, which certainly explains why Crimes parfaits is essentially a copycat factory of the gendarme portrayed by Corinne Masiero. With two noteworthy exceptions: Commander Renaud Delaunay, played by Antoine Duléry (Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie) in Aux abois/Mise en scène. And Commissaire divisionnaire Damien Roche.

Philippe Caroit (R.I.S. Police scientifique, Les boeuf-carottes) returns as Roche in Pour l'Éternité and À coeur ouvert. The falsely naive and slightly caustic detective first appeared in Entre deux eaux and Haute tension, written by Céline Guyot and Martin Guyot (Mongeville, Commissaire Magellan, Femmes de loi). They are back, as well as director Lionel Chatton (Tandem). Claire Borotra (La vengeance aux yeux clairs, Le mystère du lac), who played the wheelchair-bound procureure Gabrielle Rossi last year, is replaced by Garance Thenault as Lieutenant Gaëlle Mareski.

Mathilde Moreno, the revengeful caterer of Pour l'Éternité, organizes more than a wedding when she kidnaps the bride Iris and arranges her death as a suicide near a dam. Damien Roche meets the young lieutenant Mareski, now at the Sécurité urbaine after 12 years in the army. In À coeur ouvert, renowned surgeon Professor Jean-Pierre David shoots a male nurse who blackmailed him and makes the murder look as he was the real target because of some public stances. But the commissaire divisionnaire is nobody's fool.

In spite of their flaws, the previous two cases of Roche showed enough potential for a spin-off series or at least a return in Crimes parfaits. Mainly because of the always brilliant Philippe Caroit. This new pair of episodes is even better, thanks to some welcome retooling and the arrival of Garance Thenault. There are no romantic banters between Damien and Gaëlle (contrary to him and Gabrielle) but rather a father-daughter relationship. The only problem of Pour l'Éternité and À coeur ouvert is the ridiculous tendency of Crimes parfaits to find excuses for their murderers.

Gwendoline Hamon, who plays Commissaire Florence Cassandre in Cassandre (another crime drama hit of France 3), guest stars as Mathilde Moreno. The excellent Jean-Yves Berteloot is Professor David. Sandrine Quétier, formerly known as a television presenter, plays Dr. Rebecca Triolet (a possible regular character?) Pour l'Éternité also stars Aurélie Vaneck (Plus belle la vie) as Iris, Thomas Séraphine (Simon Landais), Stéphane Aubry (Hubert), Maximilien Pascal (Fussen), Lise Laffont (Carole), Maria Laborit (Hélène) and Julien Sabatié-Ancora (Romuald Berthon).

With (À coeur ouvert): Benjamin Egner (L'Art du crime) as Cédric, Marika Vibik (Odile), Alexia Degremont (Claudia), Michel Delcampo (Loris) and Benjamin Duc (Garagiste). Produced by Episode Productions (JLA Groupe) with France Télévisions. Co-produced by BE-Films and RTBF (Télévision belge) with the participation of RTS Radio Télévision Suisse and TV5Monde. Bernard Paccalet exec produces. Produced by Richard Berkowitz. Olivier Guedj is the production manager. Music composed and conducted by Frédéric Porte.

Cinematography by Maurizio Tiella. Theme music of Crimes parfaits by Jean-Pierre Taïeb. Main title design by Laurent Brett for Brett & Cie (Cherif, Cassandre, Transporter - The Series). Commissaire divisionnaire Damien Roche would be a great addition to France 3's saturday night crime slot. He clearly deserves his own series.

https://tattard2.blogspot.com/2018/05/crimes-parfaits-episodes-5-6-france-3.html (Entre deux eaux/Haute tension)

See also:

http://www.brettetcie.com/ (Brett & Cie)

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