25 October 2020 | clanciai
Shocking intrigues in the underworld swamp of Paris in the 1840s
"The Mysteries of Paris" was the most notorious and famous of Eugene Sue's three great novels, the second being "The Errant Jew" and the third "The Seven Deadly Sins", in parts his most interesting work. "The Mysteries of Paris" is a kind of investigation of the underworld of Paris, crowded with all kinds of shaggy sordid people, some mutilated and dísfigured, like wallowing in exaggerations of the rogues galleries of Victor Hugo's "Notre Dame de Paris", displaying the same kind of gutter people. There are many people involved in this complicated and over-burderned novel, the principal theme being some noble characters searching for lost children in the underworld, lost by carelessness and misfortunes of fate, and there are a number of dying scenes, usually cocerning remorseful women. One of the most horrible murderer characters in world literature plays a prominent part in this very weird and wacky novel, and he is also dominatring the film in his terribility, starting it with a murder and ending it with another. There are various other crooks as well, even in fashionable salons, while the main lost children finally are found and find each other. Although very criminal and before its time as a thriller, its' a very superficial novel, there is no psycholopgy and no depth of any character, while Eugene Sue concentrates wholly on just making the action as efficient in its outrageous atrocities as possible. There are some excellent tavern scenes though, and the film is very entertaining, considering that it shows people and circumstances of underworld Paris in 1842, that is about 180 years ago in a world very different from ours today, and with its criminal elements much more obvious than they are today.