MR 73 (UK - DVD R2)
Our Marcus investigates this new slow burning French cop drama on DVD...
Alcoholic and generally washed up cop Schneider (Daniel Auteuil ) is kicked off of the murder case he’s been working on for months after hijacking a public bus by gunpoint. Despite his disconnection from the world around him, Schneider continues to find clues about the serial killer and slowly begins to piece together exactly what’s going on.
MR 73 provides a slow burning character driven crime drama with a central performance from Daniel Auteuil that is almost disturbingly real. You can almost smell the booze coming off of Detective Schneider as he struggles to fight his yearning for another drink. His pretty much destroyed family life and his relationship with the police force around him also add a lot a weight to just how broken this man is, and with all this to fight against its very easy to get behind our detective when he finds even the slimmest of clues that might solve the horrific murders.
While always feeling like a movie (mainly due to writer/director Olivier Marchal's fine work) MR 73 has a lot in common with British TV cop dramas. You know the ones. The central detective has some dark secret whether it be drink, drugs or disenchantment with the world around him and through interactions with the victims, other cops and even the killer, solves not only the crime but has their shot at redemption as well. These over used elements were really only parts that stopped me from totally buying into MR 73 and it’s only really because I’m a little tired of the same old set up.
That aside, MR 73 still offers up plenty to enjoy. It has effectively grimy murders and a real sense of real world brutality from its killers. The thread revolving around Justine (Olivia Bonamy), one of two daughters who survived the brutal murder of their parents and how she’s struggling with the possibility of the killer being released from prison is a fine side order to the main Schneider journey and despite the lack of any real action, the layered dialogue and slow burning twists and turns make for an intriguing couple of hours.
While being a little soft around the edges, MR 73 has a pretty nicely detailed transfer with a clean image. The movie has its fair share of deep shadows and broody lighting and the disc does a bang up job of presenting them. Stylistically the image can sometimes look a little washed out and odd splashes of rich colour show up from time to time. All in all though, while elements can sometimes look a little grubby MR 73 remains a pretty solid transfer.
The Dolby Surround track is generally a straight down the line affair, with strong dialogue and little else going on for the most part. Once in a while you get subtle surround effects in the rear speakers, whether it be a looming thunder storm, a heavy downfall or even an opening door but overall this is a quite a hollow affair and the louder elements, such as club scene can feel a little harsh as opposed to realistic.
Just MR 73’s trailer.
While MR 73 was intriguing, I never really got into it enough to say I enjoyed it. As I said before, it could be merely that I’m not the biggest fan of the disenchanted cop genre so its real charms were probably lost on me. That said, the performances are solid here and MR 73 feels a whole lot more real world that a lot of the recent cop dramas knocking around of late, so if this sort of thing floats your boat you’ll more than likely get more out of it that I did.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 3rd May 2010
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Surround 5.1 French, Dolby Digital 2.0 French
Easter Egg: No
Director: Olivier Marchal
Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Olivia Bonamy
Genre: Crime and Drama
Length: 120 minutes