25 November 2019

Claude Chabrol's Rien ne va plus (1997)

Rien ne va plus is Chabrol's fiftieth feature film – and although far from his best – is rivetting, complicated, and to some extent incredible: but then, what do you expect?

The roulette wheel begins the film, conforming to the title, and then we see Betty (Isabelle Huppert) in conversation with another player, pretending (highly improbably) to want to sleep with him, spiking his drink in the bar while he goes to fetch her a packet of cigarettes, and when the man falls asleep in his room Betty and her much older partner Victor (Michel Serrault) raid his wallet, she practices his signature for the chequebook, and they leave: yeah, they're just small-time con-merchants, travelling around in a camper van.

Until, that is, Betty meets Maurice (François Cluzet), who holds the funds of customers of a dental congress (5,000,000 Swiss francs), and the two really hit it off. But Betty and Victor are really up to their necks in it, and they're soon involved with a suitcase changing hands (more than once), Maurice being tortured to death and finishing with a dart in his eye, and, well it's too involved to explain but at least Betty and Victor come out of it all right.

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