MR 73 Review
The FilmPolicemen are much unappreciated in our world. They deal, like social workers, with people in extremis, people at their most desperate and least reasonable. They are called in to manage the times that the rest of us screw up royally and are then lumbered with the responsibility for putting our lives back together. And what is their reward for this? The shitty end of the stick from people who have lost all right to moral authority - drunks spitting and kicking, the constant spectacle of broken human beings and social disaster. As you can guess, their job is one I would never want to do.
Auteuil has it bad. Stitch-ups, corruption, and the paralysis of his beloved wife. His flaws as a man have been widened by his mistakes in life, and now every day is a gradual descent into alcoholic anaesthesia. The actor plays him very much like a sleazy Lino Ventura from classic French thrillers like Classe tous risques, except for the fact that the material and the story here are of a much lower standard. For all that Auteuil captures the emotions with desperate eyes and internal struggle, he is undone by the sledgehammer subtlety and obvious cliche of the writer-director Marchal.
This was the same problem that I had with 36 - that there was no real human insight or competency in plotting, and Marchal has not got any better on either score. Worse still he attempts a level of poetic symbolism in the film's climax that equates new life and death and attempts to be poignant when it is little more than macho posturing. Marchal's women are still poorly written as reflections of the lead or as off the peg descriptions like pretty girl in peril, and for all of his bluster and power his films remain knuckleheaded.
MR 73 is perfectly entertaining and a decent waste of your time, but it is quite dumb.
Technical SpecsPresented at 2.35:1, the original aspect ratio, MR 73 is a dark moody looking film which is frequently de-saturated. The transfer here carries mild grain, natural edges and boasts very natural flesh tones. The black levels are excellent and detail is impressive, this looks very nice and allows you to enjoy the super work of cinematographer Denis Rouden.
Extra featuresThe disc is dual layer and region two locked and only offers a trailer as an extra. The menu design is static with basic options offered and no music to accompany the poster art.
SummaryIf you like 36, then you will enjoy this too. This is a basic release from Optimum but a very good transfer.
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