The commissioner is back. Maigret by Patrice Leconte brings back the famous policeman to the raincoat and hat (but deprived of a pipe for health reasons) created by Georges Simenon. He investigates the death of a brutally murdered young girl that echoes with his past. And it is upsetting.
“Emotion is what interested me, confides Patrice Leconte to 20 minutes. It’s a kind of portrait of Depardieu. No one else could have embodied it. The actor, more imposing than ever, reveals the flaws of a tired character who lets himself be touched by a brutal affair to the point of losing his appetite.
Forget Gérard, see Depardieu
“Maigret is emblematic in our culture, a bit like Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot. It is also part of our French landscape because it is rooted in reality and has a taste for the human,” insists Patrice Leconte. He took great liberty with The Dead Girl which he adapts with an emphasis on the Commissioner’s painful past. “Depardieu hovered above us, although Jérôme Tonnerre and I did not, at first sight, adapt the book expressly for him, remembers the director. He showed availability and impeccable professionalism. He became Maigret. »
The most surprising thing is that the spectator ends up forgetting Gérard while being fully aware that he is watching Depardieu. “I think this paradox is a strength for my film. What he brings to her is dazzling,” insists Patrice Leconte. When a protagonist says to Maigret “When you lose a child, you lose everything, there’s nothing left, only the night” and the commissioner replies “I know, Monsieur Caplan, I know” with a lost gaze, we suffer with him. And we understand that he provides paternal and unambiguous help to a young girl in distress played by Jade Labeste. “This investigation will finally give him a taste for life,” says the filmmaker.
Patrice Leconte has doubly succeeded in his return after years of absence. He also became a comic book hero for the fun and informative Leconte makes his cinema by Joub and Nicobi (Aire libre/Dupuis editions) which evokes in particular on the preparation of the shooting of Maigret. Two good ways to reconnect with a director who had become too rare on our screens.