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Saturday, February 21, 2015

NEXT TIME I'LL AIM FOR THE HEART (LA PROCHAINE FOIS JE VISERAI LA COEUR)


By D.E.Levine

A Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2015 Selection

Based on the true story of Alain Lamare, "the Oise killer" who terrorized a region north of Paris during the winter of 1978-1979 when he gunned down several young women while working as a gendarme responsible for tracking and catching the serial killer.

This film is a slick, taut thriller shown from the perspective of the police officer from the time he guns down his first victim, a young girl riding her motor scooter home late at night, through several other assaults and on through his downfall as his co-worker lawmen realize that then perpetrator may be someone within their ranks.

Played by Guillaume Canet, Officer Franck is a maniac.  Good at killing without getting caught, Franck practices self-flagellation and other torturous behaviors that indicate there's something terribly creepy about this individual.  Basically, throughout the film the viewer has trouble emotionally connecting with Franck. He seems to be very good at getting away with murder.

Written by Cedric Auger, a former Cahiers du cinema critic, the film is stylish and suspenseful.  Filmed in fog-shrouded environments and barren sunless countrysides by Thoma Hardmeter, with a strong musical score by Gregoire Hetzel, the film conveys a feeling of darkness and misery.

Canet is especially effective at conveying an insane madman killer who successfully covers up his madness and goes into work every day to investigate the very crimes he committed.  It's even humorous at one point when he goes door to door with a drawing of the protagonist done by a police sketch artist, which looks exactly like him, and yet no one recognizes the resemblance when he holds the drawing up next to his face.

With  love interest played by Ana Girardot, who leaves her invalid husband for her new lover without realizing just how crazy and malevolent he is, this film certainly proves that life is stranger than fiction.  If not ripped from the headlines would it have been possible to make this story up?