Trilogy 2: An Amazing Couple (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner24/11/2003

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 97 mins
In French with English subtitles

The second part in Lucas Belvaux’s impressive genre trilogy is a well acted, slightly manic comedy with a dark edge and a great central performance by Ornella Muti. A cinematic event in the making, part two.

An Amazing Couple (or Two, as the distributors are insisting on calling it) is the second part of director Lucas Belvaux’s ambitious and impressive genre trilogy, the concept of which, Belvaux neatly summarizes as “Fear, laughter and tears” (thriller, comedy, melodrama). This, then, is the comedy, intended by the director to be seen first, though the films can be seen in any order.

Happily Married Couple Go Slowly Mental

Ornella Muti and Francois Morel star as Cecile and Alain, a happily married couple who have been together for twenty years. However, when Alain discovers he needs routine investigative surgery, he thinks he’s going to die and decides not to tell his wife.

Meanwhile, she realises that he’s hiding something from her and suspects an affair, hiring Pascal (Gilbert Melki), the policeman husband of her colleague Agnés (Dominique Blanc) to spy on her husband and discover the truth. Unfortunately, Alain spots Cecile meeting Pascal in secret and his paranoia escalates as he believes she’s plotting against him…

Although the film can be enjoyed on its own (indeed, without the knowledge of the first film, the audience is more likely to share Alain’s suspicions), the fact that the manic, borderline farcical events are taking place alongside the darker thriller elements of On The Run gives the film a much darker edge. Also, we learn much more about Pascal, who will be the focus of the third film.

The performances are excellent, particularly the, frankly drop-dead gorgeous Muti, who genuinely lights up the screen. There are also several genuine laughs (particularly involving Alain’s secretary’s hapless boyfriend), though the film is also vaguely unsettling, since we’re basically watching a man unravelling in the grip of delusional paranoia.

In short, An Amazing Couple is a markedly different film in tone to On The Run, but it’s still an enjoyable comedy. Whether it stands alone quite as successfully as the other two films is debatable, but as a composite part of the year’s most exciting cinematic experience, it’s unmissable. Recommended.

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Content updated: 15/12/2017 02:40

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