31 December 2018 | TheLittleSongbird
The Little Mysteries of Agatha Christie
Am a lover of detective mysteries and Agatha Christie has been one of my favourite authors for such a long time now, since the age of 11 from reading 'And Then There Were None' and watching the David Suchet adaptation of 'Sad Cypress'. Love her twisty mysteries, rich characterisation, meticulous atmosphere, her intelligent use of prose and ingenious final solutions. Her work has mostly been adapted well, the obvious examples being the best of the Joan Hickson Miss Marple and David Suchet Poirot adaptations.
'Les Petits Meutres D'Agatha Christie' is a French series that adapted loosely Christie's work and is essentially Agatha Christie with a French light comedy twist and a "spoonful of French flair. Following on from the very enjoyable 'Petits Meurtres En Famille', 'Les Petits Meurtres D'Agatha Christie' is a very fascinating and charming series and fresh light-hearted entertainment with intriguing stories. Anybody expecting straight up faithful adaptations may need to watch with caution, as they are loose adaptations and only use her stories as a basic framework, but there is an awful lot to like on its own merits and so it shouldn't be dismissed.
The pacing could have been more consistent perhaps, most of the time it's perfect but there are moments where it could have been tighter and others where it could have slowed down.
Likewise with some of the more comedic elements, sometimes in need of a calming down and more subtlety. The chemistry between Avril and Laurence, and there are more episodes with them than with Larosiere and Campion, didn't seem to gel or settle straight away.
However, all the episodes of 'Les Petits Meurtres D'Agatha Christie' look lovely, especially the lavish period detail and scenery to take your breath away. The vibrant but never over-saturated or garish colours, that could be quite atmospheric, and stylish photography complement beautifully. The music matches the light-hearted and at times very atmospheric tone very well. On the most part, the writing is endearing and does entertain and intrigue. As said, some of it needed to calm down but didn't feel much staleness here. Yet the comedic approach doesn't get in the way of telling a good mystery, and enough of the mysteries are clever and very sophisticated without being over-complicated or far-fetched. Any brutality, and there is actually more of the gruesome factor here than in any of Christie's work, not being overused, abused and gratuitous.
Mostly like the characterisation, with some interesting supporting characters and a well matched and fascinating pairing in Larosiere and Lampion, that settled far quicker than that between Avril and Laurence, who aren't quite as interesting but grew on me. Larosiere is the richer character but Lampion the more endearing and rootable one. The direction is competent throughout and cannot fault the acting, Antoine Dulery and Marius Colucci being the standouts.
On the whole, definitely well worth watching. 7/10 Bethany Cox