DVD Review: AGATHA CHRISTIE’S CRIMINAL GAMES [LES PETITS MEURTRES d’AGATHA CHRISTIE] Season One (MHz Releasing)

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by Dale Reynolds on December 11, 2019

in CD-DVD

NIFTY CHRISTIE MYSTERIES

As clever as Agatha Christie (1890-1976) was in her now old-fashioned writing (no vulgar words or on-page violent deaths), contemporary film makers have a difficulty in making her plots relevant to our more brutal and vicious times

So, in the French tradition of Maigret, six of Christie’s novels have been adapted to the small screen (for Season One), including four of the books in which the inimitable Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot (missing here) was the hero savant: (“Dumb Witness,” ”Hollowe’en Party,” “Cards on the Table,” and “The Murder on the Links.”)

Instead, we find Chief Inspector Laurence (Samuel Labarthe), handsome, suave and sexist (they’re set in the 1950s, so whatchya gonna do?), fights to keep a pretty young journalist, Alice Avril (Blandine Bellavoir), from showing him up on his cases. Underpinning their growing relationship is sexy and classic dumb blonde, Marlène  (well under-played by Elodie Frenck).

Watching Alice outwit CI Laurence is fun and, especially, watching Frenck make her outrageous acting choices which leave most of the male characters in building heat, is always breezy to us.

This hit series has been pleasantly adapted by a slew of writers, with expert direction of Eric Woreth and Stéphane Kappes in this first Season, the 90-minutes for each are less for the sophisticated but for those of us comfortable with garish color, easy-on-the-eyes actors and soothing detective music. Simple minded they may be, but their French twists are amusing and (sometimes) thoughtful.

You’ll want to take your time in watching them lest you confuse one plot devise over another — they’re that daft; but it is enjoyable for what they are, with several more seasons ahead of us.

stills courtesy of MHz Releasing

Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games (Les Petits Meurtres d’Agatha Christie)
Season One
MHz Networks
released January 24, 2017
3 DVD set | 554 minutes | French with English Subtitles
available at MHz Releasing or Amazon

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