23 December 2018 | wim-vorster
This quietly tense French made for TV movie has been rated by a small number of viewers and currently the average is 6.8 which is way too low.
When a reviewer recounts the story or plot, it displays little insight. The latter is indeed a strong element in the movie: insight into characters, situations and the effect of the death of a teenage son on everyone who has known him.
Lawyer Tristan Delmas (Hugo Becker) is saddled with the task of defending Marc Lagnier (Didier Bourdon) who has confessed to murdering his son. Unraveling the relationship between him and his wife Valérie Bourdon (Isabelle Renauld) and both of their raltionships with their son Alex is more than daunting. It is 'n fact a stone wall. Into the picture walks Alex's half sister Pauline (Flore Bonaventura) - who'd been at school with Tristan - to complicate the situation even more, because she firmly believes in her stepfather's innocene. Add to this Tristan close friend, a policeman, who is more of an obstacle than assistance. Although Tristan accepts Marc's confession, he needs to expose the motive in order to defend him in court.
There are no fanfares in the film. No major special effects. It's not a recipe Hollywood whodunnit. It's a thorough psychological study. Whereas the death of Alex is real, it's simultaneously a metaphor for the ills in society, the delicacy of love and relationships and a springboard for psychological examination and investigation. The real suspense lies in the characters' interaction with each other.
Imdb indicates the translated title as The Death in a Soul. The version that was broadcast by TV5Monde here in South Africa carries the title A Soul in Torment. Both are quite apt.
The acting is sincere, the dialogue fluent and believable and Tristan's own plight as human being who had sworn an oath is quite captivating. If viewers are interested in suspense stories with more flesh and soul than just tension and moments of shock or horror, they should watch this. Highly enjoyable and thought-provoking