Maigret's Dead Man full movie review - Credit to Atkinson
Who would have thought that Rowan Atkinson could play a role as difficult as "Maigret"? Not only is this on the other end of the spectrum, light-years away from "Johnny English" and "Mr.
Bean", Commissaire Maigret (in this series ranked as "chief-inspector") was splendidly portrayed by the late Bruno Cremer in no less than 54 (!) episodes, which made it twice as difficult for Atkinson to become the new Jules.
Having read most of my countryman Georges Simenon's books, I have an image of Jules Maigret as a thinker, not a talker. Rowan Atkinson portrays this in a very convincing way. Perhaps a little more pipe- training could come in handy, but other than that it's a realistic Maigret.
The use of Hungary as film location for 1950's Paris is a good choice: the dirty houses and alleys realistically picture the era of a coal-heated metropolis. Dirty cars complete the image, and even the camera-work reminds of the film-noir of the 1940's and '50's.
The only flaws in this and the previous episode, are goofs that could have been avoided easily: the car's headlights should have been yellow, not white (compulsory in France from the mid 1930's until 1993), in lit areas French cars used to drive with the positioning lights on - dip and high beam were only used on dark country roads, not in town. Another goof are the press cameras flash bulbs: until the late 1960's, before the age of electronics, flash bulbs were made of magnesium filaments, and had to be replaced after every shot. It was impossible to flash, flash, flash in a few seconds, like ALL the cameras in this series do. Shame on you, researchers!
I really enjoyed Rowan Atkinson as a mature Jules Maigret, however... on the sly I was hoping for a suspect called... Bob. ;-)