Maigret’s Dean Man is a detective mystery thriller directed by Jon East. It starred Rowan Atkinson as Chief Inspector Jules Maigret.
The plot follows Maigret in his search for the reason behind the murder of an unidentified man who had actually called him for help from a phone in a bar. Things get complicated when the case is linked to another case.
I was pretty surprised when I saw Rowan Atkinson’s name in the cast list, I really can’t picture him in a serious, detective film because his role as “Mr. Bean” is just so prominent. The last movie I’ve seen with him was a comedy so it’s really difficult for me to make the link. However, I must say I don’t see any trace of Mr. Bean at all throughout the whole movie.
The movie starts off with a murder in a farmhouse in Picardie. An inspector went over and discovered a survivor - a little girl who hid in the cabinet. A great but typical start for a detective film, I’d say.
However, the murder was brushed aside quickly and Maigret and his dead man took center stage.
The suspense in the film is well kept. Why the dead man was killed? What is that he was trying to post out before his death? Who is he posting it to? All these unanswered questioned kept me curious and eagerly following the characters as they carry out their investigation.
However, I feel there are some small loopholes in the plot. Maigret and his team actually posted some advertisements out in the newspaper to get people to come forward to prove information. Judging from the killer’s careful (and somewhat paranoid) and cold-blooded way of doing things, I don’t see why he won’t be watching or following those “informers” and trying to get information from them himself. Because both he and Maigret were looking for the same thing - the missing evidence.
Inspector Maigret even included his address in one of the advertisements, so the killer could have actually sent someone to go down there and wait. I mean if I were him, I would have done that.
These loopholes however, didn’t really break the story. I still find it believable and although Maigret can get a little eccentric at times, his analysis and deductions were logical and convincing. Furthermore, the cinematography, editing and pacing makes it worth continuing.
Although Rowan Atkinson did successfully shake Mr. Bean off in this one, I feel that he didn’t really do a good job for his role. Maigret seems rather serious and pretty much “pokerfaced” in most of the scenes. I don’t know if it’s the writing or his portrayal but I don’t find myself really feeling much or attracted to his character most of the time. I guess the character just doesn’t stand out as much as the suspense.
However, there are some exceptions whereby I think Rowan Atkinson did managed to create that link and make you feel his emotions - Like the one he was mocking the killer and the last few scenes whereby he talked to the victim’s wife. I think it’s one of the most emotionally moving scenes in the whole film, but sadly wasn’t mainly because of Atkinson’s performance but that of the actress playing the victim’s wife.
While I do enjoy this film, I don’t think it is good enough to be a “must-watch” nor will I feel excited to talk about it to my friends. The cinematography, editing, sound and plot are all pretty good; however something just seems to be missing to make it stand out.
The review was published as it's written by reviewer in March, 2017. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed.
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