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Partners in Crime – New Pascal Thomas’s Agatha Christie adaptation on DVD on 7th January

Pascal Thomas' adaptation of Agatha Christies' novel, Partners in Crime, released on DVD in the UK on 7th January 2013.

Andre Dussollier & Catherine Frot

For the third time, Catherine Frot (The Page Turner) and André Dussollier (Micmacs, A Very Long Engagement) are impersonating the eccentric couple of investigators-adventurers Prudence and Bélisaire Beresford.

As Bélisaire (André Dussolier) is promoting the book of his adventures as a now retired secret agent, Prudence (Catherine Frot) feeling let down decides to open her own detective agency. A wealthy Russian heiress has disappeared and her worried fiancé brings the case to Prudence. She can’t resist it nor can her husband resist following her. Thanks to her sharp and imaginative mind, Prudence quickly figures out the place they need to look into is the new exclusive plastic surgery clinic hidden in the Swiss mountains. Everything seems very logic and rational, except there is no trace of the young lady there but nevertheless very strange things seem to happen far from the public eyes.

After By The Pricking of My Thumbs (2005) and Crime is our Business (2008), the same team gets together to revive the story of one of the most beloved British writer, Agatha Christie. The adaptation by Pascal Thomas, Nathalie Lafaurie and Clémence de Biéville – who both had already worked with the director including together in 2007 on another Christie’s adaptation, Toward Zero – had a free take on the short story The Case of The Missing Lady and created the nuttiest adventures – so far – of the Beresfords.

Mixing mystery and comedy in all three parts of the couple’s saga, the director very efficiently uses the lead actors’ talent and versatility. Catherine Frot finds again in Prudence the lightness and spontaneity of La Diléttante, she played for Thomas in 1999, while Dussollier’s Bélisaire tends to overthink and intellectualise everything.

Partners in Crime

Both characters find each other in the cool-mindedness, curiosity and inquisitiveness, basis of all Agatha Christie’s heroes.  This film, much more than the two previous, looks closely at the interactions, differences and complementarities within the couple, playing with them to reinforce the comedy and the British humour the film maker didn’t miss to sprinkle throughout the movies.

The adaptation has the simple entertaining qualities of any of Agatha Christie’s books. No over-complication, but just sharp wacky details to spice up the plot and make this movie the perfect companion for a TV dinner. For the fans of the genre, more should be expected from Pascal Thomas as, if Agatha Christie didn’t like much cinema versions of her novels, Mathew Prichard, her grandson, seems to be a keen supporter as full liberty was given to the film maker to create his versions of the full Partners in Crime short stories collection.While waiting for the two previous adventures to be released in DVD and the next additions to the saga, enjoy Pascal Thomas’ Partners in Crime on DVD 7th January 2013.


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