|Year Of Production||2008|
|Running Time||120:01 (Case: 125)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (84:34)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Olivier Marchal|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Detective Louis Schneider (Daniel Auteuil) of the Marseilles Police is a broken man, an alcoholic whose life was destroyed by the accident in which his daughter died and his wife was left in hospital on long term life support. Schneider feels guilty because at the time of the accident he was with another woman. He is also disillusioned by the monsters within his society, such as the serial killer who is torturing, raping and beating wealthy women to death, and the corruption within the Police, principally Detective Kovalski (Francis Renaud) who is involved in theft and prostitution. At his lowest ebb, a drunken Schneider hi-jacks a public bus at gun point. The incident is hushed up, but Schneider is taken off the serial killer case, which is given to Kovalski, and demoted to the night complaints desk. The only people with some sympathy for Schneider are his partner Georges (Gerard Laroche) and Captain Marie Angeli (Catherine Marchal).
Twenty five years previously, Schneider had been part of the team that arrested Charles Subra (Philippe Nahon) for the torture murder of the Maxence husband and wife while their two young daughters were in the house. Both daughters, but especially the eldest Justine (Olivia Bonamy), remain traumatised by the murders. She is shocked when she finds out that Subra is about to be released, having convinced the Parole Board that he has found God and is a changed man. Justine does not think so, and believes that Subra will come after her to finish the job so she approaches Schneider for help.
Even drunk and off the serial killer case, Schneider is a better man, and a better detective, than Kovalski and he manages to identify the killer. Officially off the case, he persuades Georges that the evidence is valid; but in the course of the arrest Georges is fatally injured and Schneider shoots and kills the murderer. When the serial killer is identified as the son of a high ranking Police Officer, the Police sweep it under the carpet, and the evidence conveniently goes missing. Schneider is censured and dismissed from the force. Broken, mired in alcoholism and limited choices, Schneider is about to makes some decisions which will have explosive ramifications.
MR73 is not light viewing. It delves into an unpleasant world of Police corruption and violence, where monsters who torture, rape and murder for pleasure seem to be all too prevalent and the Police seem more concerned with avoiding scrutiny than protecting the innocent and solving heinous crimes. It is perhaps even more distressing to learn, from a caption at the start of the film, that it is based on a true story, although which part is unclear. That does not mean that MR73 is not a good film; on the contrary it is an excellent film, so well plotted that it seldom goes where one is expecting, with an ending will remain in the memory long after the end of the film. The film is also anchored by a mesmerising performance by the veteran actor Daniel Auteuil. Now 60 years old and always good, here as the grizzled, constantly smoking alcoholic, every line of his face, every whisker, every expression is used to perfection to build this flawed character. Indeed, the cast of MR73 is uniformly good with Olivia Bonamy, Gerard Laroche and Catherine Marchal also excellent. Each of their characters has their demons, their history, and each manages to subtly make their character believable, and human.
While not an easy film, MR73 is compelling viewing. It is well made, well plotted and anchored by a mesmerising performance by Daniel Auteuil. The ending will remain in the memory long after the end of the film. By the way, MR73 refers to a type of pistol.
MR73 is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced. It looks absolutely stunning.
The film uses a number of different colour palates and tones in different scenes, and the contract is often very marked. For example, in some scenes the colours are leached out leaving a bright, desaturated silver look. In other scenes there is a browny yellow filter; the flashbacks, of which there are a number, are in hand held black and white. Much of the film is also shot at night, or in dark rooms or corridors, where colours are very muted. Given these deliberate choices, contrast, brightness and skin tones vary considerably. However blacks are wonderfully deep, shadow detail excellent and the print as sharp as one would wish for. I did not notice any film or film to video artefacts.
English subtitles are in a yellow font. There are a couple of minor translation errors such as “these are words who rarely echo“ but they are fleeting.
There was only a slight pause for the layer change at 84:34.
Audio is a choice of French Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 448 Kbps or French Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps. This is not a film with loud explosions or car chases but the 5.1 is a good enveloping track; dialogue is clear and centred while effects such as thunder, rain, traffic and music occur constantly in all speakers and are sharp and well differentiated. The surrounds are constantly in use and while the sub woofer is not called into action a lot it supports the music well. I only sampled the 2.0 track. It is surround encoded and the effects sounded clear and sharp, but without the depth of field of the 5.1.
Lip synchronisation was fine.
The sparse orchestral score by Bruno Coulais wonderfully supported the tone and mood of MR73. A couple of songs, such as Avalanche sung by Leonard Cohen over the opening credits, were great.
|Surround Channel Use|
Trailers for other films from Madman: 36 Quai des Orfevres (2:04), Public Enemy #1 (2:19), Tell No One (2:27) and Animal Kingdom (2:14).
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Currently I could not find a Region 1 US edition. The Region 2 French 2 disc edition has as extras an audio commentary with director Oliver Marchal, a “making of” featurette (55:40), 9 deleted scenes and a trailer. However, while the feature has English subtitles, none of the extras do. The French Region B Blu-ray has the same extras, but again no English subtitles.
The Region 2 UK release is the same as ours, with only the trailer as an extra. For English speakers there is no reason to go beyond the local release.
MR73 delves into an unpleasant world of Police corruption and violence. While not an easy film, MR73 is compelling viewing. It is well made, well plotted and anchored by a mesmerising performance by Daniel Auteuil. The ending will remain in the memory long after the end of the film.
The video and audio are excellent, the only real extra is a trailer.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S350, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|