I’ve come to expect great pre-credit opening sequences in Chabrol’s films now and this one doesn’t disappoint. Here again, as in La Rupture, we start with an idyllic scene that’s abruptly and inevitably broken. It’s a tragic scene and yet Chabrol presents it with the minimum of sentimentality. It’s just an event and now we must deal with the consequences.
Chabrol takes the tropes of a standard revenge drama and then pretty much disregards them. Much of the mystery is unraveled not through complex plot machinations but rather through some simple coincidences. What Chabrol seems to be really interested (as in the other films I’ve seen so far) is in these characters and their moral compass. What are we capable of when pushed to the limit. There’s some dark humor here as well although perhaps not as much as in those other films although the family dinner scene is pretty hilarious and yet simultaneously devastating. Great ambiguous ending too.