Monsieur Hire blends tension, eroticism, and the bizarre
Directed by Patrice Leconte.
Starring Michel Blanc, Sandrine Bonnaire, Luc Thuillier, and Andre Wilms.
At the Nickelodeon and Harvard Square theaters.
By ELIZABETH L. WILLIAMS
MONSIEUR HIRE is a French murder mystery which blends tension with eroticism and a touch of the bizarre in a dreamy melodic style. The strong points of this movie are the development of the character Monsieur Hire and the strangeness of the situation that he is caught up in. The negative points are the simplicity of the plot and the shallowness of most characters.
Without giving away the entire story, the movie is about an investigation into the death of a young girl who is Monsieur Hire's neighbor. Hire is a strange egg, having the habit of regularly looking into the window of a young girl named Alice who lives across the street from him. He watches all her activities, from eating to undressing to sleeping. The movie progresses with the escalation of the murder investigation, the development of Hire's character, and Hire's changing relationship with Alice after he meets her.
Hire is an absorbing character and the movie flows smoothly. In fact, the film flows so smoothly it is over before one can believe it. The audience's feelings towards Hire and Alice are artfully manipulated as the film progresses, the unveiling of their characters paralleling the unveiling of the murderer.
Although not a "must see," Monsieur Hire is a seamless and entertaining film.