More of an emotional thriller than a psychological one here; again set in Chabrol’s milieu of provincial France with a cold autumnal feel. The mayor of the town is a majestic but emotionally cold, calculating and corrupt figure. Accordingly, his wife falls for his deputy, a more sensual and sexually charismatic man who himself is shackled to a bedridden, feeble wife. The passion burns, but this is contrasted, indeed tempered by the surroundings – being Chabrol this is still an ambivalent film. The pair do go through all the way, but resignedly get swallowed up by their environment.
At the tail of Chabrol’s great period of provincial thrillers, this feels like a bit of a re-tread, the plot being quite straightforward, but it’s still a very fine film. The emotions are more to the fore for the duration here. I could comment on the three leads and the regular collaborators, but take it from me they’re all excellent.