Shifting, like Moll’s earlier ‘Harry, He’s Here to Help’, from droll comedy to very suspenseful drama, this charts the changes that befall the seemingly perfect marriage of a hotshot gadget inventor and his wife (Lucas and Gainsbourg) after they invite his boss (Dussolier) and his wife (Rampling) to dinner. An embarrassingly vicious spat in front of the hosts creates tension, but that’s as nothing compared to the aftermath of an unwelcome adulterous come-on. And meanwhile, a Scandinavian rodent is found blocking the S-bend beneath the complacent young couple’s sink… The most obvious reference points for this black comedy-cum-thriller are Hitchcock and Buñuel; a more useful point of comparison, however, might be Magritte. The sombre blues and greys, the strange interplay of day and night, the brooding mountainscapes, all reminiscent of the painter’s work, give the movie the unsettling quality of a waking dream, an impression reinforced by the imaginative use of sound and music. Slightly too long, perhaps, the film nevertheless succeeds as an entertainingly nightmarish experience.
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