‘Laetitia’ Review: The film is full of Brutal Crime, Swift Action, Deep Drama

Fans of actual crime will be surprised: When the protagonist disappears at the start of the terrifying “Laëtitia”. The police don’t wait the usual 72 hours to declare him missing. Foster parents of teens shouldn’t convince anyone that something is wrong.

The evidence is clear, quick search, spontaneous national outrage. Even the president judged by buying a burdened judiciary. Because it turned out that the main suspect had been convicted of sex offenders. The judges were so offended that they went on strike.

Viewers will find elements of crime thrillers:

Which, in other words, are widespread, foreign to the genre, as is currently developing on American television. No sceptics, no delayed reactions, no leads. Laëtitia is also French, as is writer and director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade. But anyone familiar with Mr De Lestrade’s work. Especially the Oscar-winning documentaries Sunday Morning Murder (2001) and The Staircase (in several incarnations). A much more complex game is in front of us.

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The elements of the crime are somewhat routine. An acting girl meets an inappropriate guy who does something wrong and panics. Death occurs. The reactions to the crime and the directors’ origins are not routine. Based on the 2011 murder of 18-year-old Laëtitia Perrais and Ivan Jablonka’s 2016 book Laëtitia or the End of the People. This adaptation of Mr De Lestrade, written with Antoine Lacomblez.

It’s a bit cliché that successful documentary filmmakers want to make fiction:

Mr De Lestrade has done theatre before. (His 2019 “Inner Game” doesn’t appear to have reached the United States yet.) Given his goals with the Laëtitia Perrais story, a dramatic stance is needed. Fate, as depicted in Laëtitia, is really about character development. And the same distortion.

As we step into the story, Laetitia (Marie Columbus) and her twin sister Jessica (Sophie Brier) have been living at the home of foster parents Gilles and Michelle Patron (Sam Carman and Clotilde Mollet) for years. Jessica, who was going to school on a cold January morning, found that Laëtitia’s broken scooter, along with her sister’s shoes. Had fallen in front of the gates of her home in western France. In retrospect, the only time we will truly see Laëtitia is on the day of her death and the refugees of the Sisters’ tremendous and torturous early years. It took months to find the bodies because they weren’t all in the same place.

De Lestrade makes airless films and Laëtitia is no exception.Some meaningful glances or long close-ups show what we should think about how the characters feel. It’s enough when 4-year-old children Laetitia and Jessica hear the brutal rape and beating of their mother Sylvie (Chloe Andre) by their father Frank (Kevin Azais) through the walls of their room, which is closed. The sisters in warm arms are sent from French Social Services (which is among the cursed in this series).

We don’t need to be present in the interview with prime suspect Tony Maylhon. Played by Noam Morgenstern with grisly madness – where he complains about his origins. Suffice it to say that his mother told investigators, including Detectives Franz Touchet (Yannick Choirat) and Judge Martino (Cyril Descourt). That Tony’s half-brothers were his own father’s children. That sexual violence was “normalized” between them. And that Tony recognized his family as “Horrible”.

The director is innocent of the victim or, God knows, acquitted the killer.

But she doesn’t believe in fate alone. ​​She follows the course of violence, crime and sexual assault across generations and families. And shows us how trauma can determine behaviour. Also with Laëtitia: One of the puzzling things about an investigation as Detective The notes.

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Several times is why girls The ordinary, educated and hard-working man. Who behaved in a very unusual and self-destructive manner on the day of his death. I could say that he lacked character, although Mr De Lestrade did not. Because what is the character apart from gaining experience? What precisely this experience is is a mystery that will amaze viewers.