Marchal trades in noir for emotional drama
With almost 1m admissions in France since its release on March 12, Olivier Marchal’s MR 73 [+see also:
film profile] will hit Italian screens next Friday. Medusa is distributing on 200 screens the last instalment of a noir trilogy comprising Gangster (2002) and Department 36 [+see also:
film profile] (2004).
"It is a trilogy on solitude and redemption,” said the director, onhand in Rome for the film’s press screening, "but MR 73 is a story I’ve had inside me for 30 years and is based on real events". Which is believable, given his past in the criminal brigades of the Versailles police. "It was only thanks to the huge success of 36 that I was able to shoot this hard and ruthless film, which reflects my vision of life," he added.
MR 73, which begins to the notes of Leonard Cohen’s "Avalanche" with police officer Daniel Auteuil fully immersed in his own personal descent into hell, further pushes the thriller-horror envelope with respect to 36 (which also starred Auteuil, alongside Gérard Depardieu) and does not hold back any violent scenes in a tortuous hunt for a serial killer.
"Daniel is an actor with an instinctive approach to the character, which he wanted to study in detail, even meeting an alcoholism expert,” said Marchal, who before being a director is first and foremost an actor and could identify with Auteuil.
However, Marchal now wants to move away from noir and is thinking of a story without guns or killers: "The main character is still a cop, but he has retired to work as the bodyguard-chauffer of a wealthy girl who goes to a psychologist after her mother’s suicide. It is about two lonely people. Yes, it’s still a noir film, but it’s very emotional. I got the idea from a driver of VIPs".
(Translated from Italian)
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