18 April 2004 | bradluen
A few good murder gags
In this comedy of homicidal manners, people keep trying to kill both the sprite-like madwoman Livia (Elsa Zylberstein, gorgeously weightless) and her would-be assassin, the tottering madman Pointpoirot (Bernard Giraudeau, appropriately blank), and naturally there's a huge inheritance and a government conspiracy involved. Ruiz's staging is flawless, and the killing scenes in particular are exemplary - he knows when it's funnier to follow the characters, and when it's funnier to sit the camera dead still. I don't know if it all means any more than "Battle Royale" - Zylberstein said that Ruiz came to the conclusion in mid-shoot that it was a metaphor for Pinochet's violence, which may or may not be consistent with what we see on screen. Still, at least it takes the trouble to set up jokes properly, and it's not till the last third that they start seeming repetitive. I'm more or less neutral on this one.