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Love Crime

Love Crime

Released 21 September 2012
Director Alain Corneau

Kristin Scott Thomas, Ludivine Sagnier, Patrick Mille Guillaume Marquet, Gérald Laroche
Writer(s) Alain Corneau, Natalie Carter

Said Ben Said, Alexander Emmert
Origin France
Running Time 106 minutes
Genre Crime, mystery, thriller
Rating TBC

Oh, uh, one more thing.

Where's Columbo when you need him? If there was some proper police investigation done in this crime-suspense thriller then there would have been no point in it even entering production. Not that there are too many holes, the writers have just compensated for that by convincing us that everybody is an idiot. Well, bar one or two! Funny thing, though, is that France's Love Crime is a relatively okay addition to the genre with a particularly enjoyable first half, if then slightly ruined by the mundane, laborious plod of a conclusion.

Powerful executive Christine (Kristin Scott Thomas) and her young protege Isabelle (Ludivine Sagnier) are close colleagues in a high-profile firm. 'Close' being the operative word, for vindictive Christine, fuelled by her own ambition, manipulates her more talented pupil into scoring her the big-money deals amid a frenzy of sexual tension, deceit and betrayal. When Christine successively humiliates her in front of the entire office, as well as bribing the man she loves in an effort to compound her grief, 'Isa' begins a meandering, complex quest to gain the perfect revenge – orchestrating a magnificent and ambitious plan that will see her have the last laugh.

The opening sequences of this film are brilliant, drawing the viewer in with a series of twitchy, squirmy ploys by Christine to keep her puppet on a leash. But soon, very soon, Isabelle's naivety turns to disappointment, which eventually leads to furious anger, and the prospect of the vengeful act begins. It is from here that the story begins to go viciously downhill. In Isabelle's grand scheme, she first lures the people around her into a false sense that she is emotionally unstable before laying out a carefully prepared map that will first see her implicated in the crime she commits and then unravel in an unbelievably neat way that spectacularly transforms her from pupil to teacher.

The premise is smart but not clever. Neither are those charged with investigating the crimes as obvious clues are left alone for an independent enquirer, Isabelle's friend Daniel, to conveniently decipher. But most annoying of all is the slow pacing. Where is the suspense, not to mention the mystery? Leaving aside a stupid ending that leaves a particularly sour taste, the outcome of Isabelle's devious deeds is never really in doubt. What could have been an exciting reel of intertwining puzzles transpires to be a lamely devised sequence of perfectly timed events.

Don't get me wrong, I quite enjoyed Love Crime and at times it is so ludicrous that it becomes rather funny but its content is just too thin to merit anything more than an average rating.

- David Caulfield