1 July 2004 | dbdumonteil
Not bad but ambiguous.
Doniol-Volcroze was one of the young Turks of the nouvelle vague as well as the eminence grise of "les cahiers du cinema" where Truffaut ,Godard and al cut their teeth .His career was not as famous as theirs and most of his works fell into oblivion with the exception of "la maison des Bories" (1970) which anyway was not "nouvelle vague" at all.
Directing of "La denonciation" ,on the other hand,seems dated today : loose screenplay,weak female characters ,abuse of voice-over ;this abuse is all the more irritating as Maurice Ronet is as good as ever .One of the best thespians of the era (particularly for Malle :"ascenseur pour l'échafaud" and "le feu follet"),he makes these continuous frames of mind redundant.
And the screenplay ,however,was very interesting.Probably influenced by Borges's "theme of the traitor and hero",it features the symmetry dear to the writer.During WW2,when he was a resistant,Ronet's character gave his companions away to the gestapo.During the questioning,a young French teacher acted as interpreter for the German officer and him.After the war,he was regarded as a hero and when he was confronted to the young collaborator,the latter said nothing about what he knew of the resistant's betrayal.But the man could never get over this unbearable memory.And history repeated itself:he was the eyewitness of a murder and he had to denounce somebody again.But his memories came back to haunt him and he did not know what to do.
The movie remains very ambiguous and brings out responsibility without taking sides.The hero's behavior is eminently questionable ,and Ronet is up to scratch for what is a very perilous portrayal.