THE BLUE ROOM – A Review by John Strange

By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Mathieu Amalric
Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Léa Drucker, Stéphanie Cléau
MPAA Rating: NR
Selig Rating: FORGET IT!
Runtime: 75 Min.
Language:  French (with English subtitles)
The Blue Room is a thriller starring Mathieu Amalric as Julien Gahyde, a man who has an affair with the wife of the local pharmacy owner.  Esther Despierre (Stéphanie Cléau) and Julien had known each other in their youth but Ester’s social status had prevented the young man from approaching her.
Their dalliance goes on for some time.  They would get together on an irregular basis, occasionally discussing the possibility of their leaving their respective spouses and getting married.  Esther always seems to be a bit more serious about it than Julien.
One day the pharmacist is found dead.  Julien receives a note telling him it is his turn.  He doesn’t know what to do.  And then the worst happens as his wife is found murdered.  Quickly Julien is arrested for the crime.  No one listens to his cries of innocence.
During the pre-trial interrogations, facts implicating him come out one after the other.  Did he do it or did Esther kill both of the spouses?  Will they be found guilty or will one of them prove their innocence?
This is a dark, slow paced story about two persons that I found I could not begin to like.  In the end, I really didn’t care who killed who.  I think that is the saddest fact of all.  No, the fact that Mathieu Amalric and Stéphanie Cléau co-wrote the screenplay from Georges Simenon’s novel and then starred in the film may trump it.
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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