17 March 2004 | dbdumonteil
Once ,they wrote "Diabolique" and "Vertigo".
Yes they did!Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac were second to none when it came to suspense and Hitchcock and Clouzot adapted their books with enthusiasm.
"Les veufs" is an absorbing psychological suspense,which Max Fisher(?)thoroughly butchered ;the novel was linear whereas the film uses too many pointless flashbacks ,and the plot was something like a cobweb where the hero got entangled in.The first hour is completely botched,using a ridiculous character with a Quebec accent and awful songs (the kind of music which passes for rock on made-for-TV movies ). The last third is more interesting,because it focuses on Garavan:unlike the other user,I do think the part was tailor-made for Pierce Brosnan(if he reads the book,he'll know what I mean),who is unsupported by the rest of the cast -the lead gives an abysmal performance-.
The final Garavan/Merkin feud was suspenseful on the paper -for instance never the "true" writer dares claim his work;the conversation between the two men remains full of insinuations ,but a lot of lines in the film were just thoughts in the writer's mind.So why not use a voice over?
One cannot always have a Hitchcock or a Clouzot.