Agatha Christie – Little Murders: Season 5 (DVD) – Series Review
Follow Genre: Crime, Drama
Distributor: Just Entertainment
Episodes: 3
Duration: 90 min (per episode)

Agatha Christie – Little Murders: Season 5 (DVD) – Series Review

Site Score
8.6
Good: Suspense, Acting performances, Humor
Bad: Humor sometimes takes the edge off
User Score
8.7
(6 votes)
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Rating: 8.7/10 (6 votes cast)

Agatha Christie, a legend among writers, who has left us with many detective novels and great characters such as Poirot, the well known detective, is still inspiring movie makers from beyond the grave. Little Murders (already season 5) revolves around original Agatha Christie tales, albeit slightly reworked and with different protagonists. Be sure to take notes to help commissioner Laurence, his lovely assistant Marlène and the thrill seeking reporter Alice Avril solve the many little murders throughout the three movies of season 5.

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The first movie Cartes sur table will instantly remind many of the popular game ‘Clue’, where you’ll have to find clues in order to be able to point out the murderer at the end of the session. Commissioner Swan Laurence (Samuel Labarthe), his assistant Marlène (Elodie Frenck), reporter Alice Avril (Blandine Bellavoir) and ex secret agent Jouve (Ged Marlon) get invited by Monsieur Shaïtana (Saïd Amadis) to attend his dinner party. Mr. Shaïtana immediately informs the commissioner that the other four guests are all murderers and offers to play a game in order to learn more about who did what and when. The soon-to-be-deceased Monsieur Shaïtana even offers to play a game that revolves around murder, to play with all the guests together. Whilst it was only meant as a game, the evening ends up with another murder, namely the one of the host. Soon it is clear that one of the four guests has no issue with dirtying his or her hands once again, but proving who did it will become the tricky part of this game of Clue.

In the beginning, the story of the first movie might be a bit confusing because you’ll be bombarded with information which you cannot process just yet. As the diner party is coming to its end, pieces will slowly start putting together the enormous puzzle that  is bound to get completed, one way or another. The four supposed murderers, the young Elise Schlumberger (Aurélia Poirier), the overly social doctor Emile Barilon (Quentin Baillot), the dashingly handsome Paul Coupet (Alban Lenoir) and last but not least Hélène Nevers (Anne Canovas), provide a very diverse but interesting group of possible assailants. It will soon become clear that these movies make it quite hard to pinpoint the exact killer.

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In the second movie Meurtre à la kermesse, the murder of a young child during an event at the local school, is the centre of the story. The murder itself is already enough to present you with an interesting plot, but the fact that the child was murdered right after she stated, in the middle of the class, that she had witnessed a murder makes the story even more intriguing. The teachers brushed off her confession as a made-up story but the fact she was soon disposed of proves otherwise. Whilst at first it is suspected the school’s weak minder janitor Monsieur Milou (Fred Epaud) had committed the murder out of anger, as the little girl used to bully everyone around her, it seems there is more at play than one would suspect. To top off the difficult murder case, Laurence has been diagnosed with temporary blindness, due to an accident. It seems the trauma is responsible for his loss of sight, which hopefully will not bother the case too much.

Compared to the first movie/episode of the fifth season, the pace is completely different in this second one. The story progresses a bit slower because Laurence being blind has taken its toll on his investigatory skills. Nonetheless, stretching out scenes with possible perpetrators will keep you speculating until the very last moment.

Nearing the finale of the season, the third movie Le crime ne paie pas starts off with commissioner Laurence being visited by internal affairs. The investigator who was sent by internal affairs, Hubert Petitpont (Dominique Pinon), seems to have an agenda of his own. When he has to follow Laurence on his fieldtrips after a seemingly random murder has happened, things take a turn for the worse as the charges against the good commissioner seem to stack up, out of nowhere. Not only does it seem that Petitpont wants to claim all the glory, he is infatuated by the lovely Marlène as well. Whilst the murder case, that leads back to the local nightclub, is still of great importance, this movie seems to revolve more about the conflict between Laurence and Petitpont. That being said, Laurence seems to be confident enough to wade through this battle of honor.

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Again the flow differs from the previous two movies, due to the fact that Laurence has moved a bit to the background. Constant tension makes more room for curiosity on how the case against Laurence will evolve, instead of being occupied with the murder all of the time. Nonetheless, it’s great to see the same characters handle different situations, with a different approach, while staying interesting.

Visually Little Murders is a mix between old and new, thanks to the combination of the vintage look and modern filming techniques. Simply put, this is a great way of breathing new life into older classics, without making them lose their authentic feel and look. The retro sets are truly marvelously done and it’s clear they were made with an eye for detail.

Even though murder is a heavy topic, the mood often gets a bit lighter thanks to the use of simple, but effective humor. Laurence is constantly having small arguments with Alice, which are rather comical instead of serious. Marlène is simply brilliant in making obvious things seem like rocket science. The humor feels old school, straightforward and transparent, and it just works like a charm.

It’s great to see that pretty much all actors are able to act in the same manner as in actual old school movies. Not only are they able to master the techniques of a nearly forgotten age but they do a superb job in combining seriousness with the necessary dose of humor.

Conclusion

Little Murders: Season 5 offers three great movies/episodes, which breathe new life into older Agatha Christie tales. Even though these new interpretations stay not completely true to their originals, the vintage look, the great acting performances and the stories themselves prove to be exquisite. Even though the action isn’t as flashy as in many new movies, the constant tension and suspense will captivate you, hoping the perpetrator will be found swiftly. Certainly worth watching.

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Rating: 8.7/10 (6 votes cast)
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Agatha Christie - Little Murders: Season 5 (DVD) - Series Review, 8.7 out of 10 based on 6 ratings

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