Three days and a life: the pen of Pierre Lemaître at the service of cinema

December 23, 1999. We are in a small village in the Belgian Ardennes, the kind where everyone knows each other and where the old stone houses seem straight out of postcards. Of course, when a 6 ½ year old boy disappears on Christmas Eve, the excitement is at its height.

Childhood, village, disappearance… All the ingredients are there for a good little B thriller, a genre that Nicolas Boukhrief has always mastered (The conveyor, Made in France).

Because he knows them as he knows his little history of French detective stories, this can be seen in this fascinating Three days and a life. From the mist hanging over the village surrounded by a large forest to its inhabitants who can all be suspect (the father, played by an astonishing Charles Berling, the butcher, a taciturn Pole…), passing through the controlled construction of a sticky and disturbing atmosphere, references abound. let the beast dieby Chabrol, the novels of Georges Simenon… the greatest have used the same elements to better captivate us.

Three Days and a Life, by Nicolas Boukhrief Photo: AZ Films

But if the land of Three days and a life is known, it is only so during its first hour, the second developing an absolutely fascinating romantic touch. And that’s where you really feel the touch of the novelist Pierre Lemaître (goodbye up there), who signs this adaptation of his novel himself.

Like a pop-up book, the film folds in on itself in the middle and then slides, after a devastating and murderous storm, towards film noir while years later, the little neighbor of the deceased, who has become a doctor (Pablo Pauly, very convincing), returns to the village.

With vast ellipses and twists, the film then focuses on the guilt that still haunts different characters to end on a note of disillusioned bitterness as surprising as it is terrifying. And on the path of this film starting from the most conventional to lead to the most unexpected, despite the sometimes intrusive music, we are both amazed at the quality of the writing of the story and captivated by this rare example of a perfect little thriller. .

Three days and a lifeto see on HERE Extra

The trailer (from YouTube)