The film opens with an upset and frustrated woman named Madeleine (Nadia Tereszkiewicz), who is leaving a luxury house and walking home. Returning home to her roommate, Pauline (Rebecca Marder), Madeleine reveals that her audition for the upcoming performance was a huge disaster and that the producer, Mr. Montferrand, also took advantage of her. To make matters worse, Madeleine and Pauline are in heavy debt and receive a visit from an unempathetic landlord, and then Madeleine’s current partner visits with more bad news. He has an idea of how he and Madeleine can both get out of debt and live a happy life; however, to do this, he must marry another woman in return for a dowry. Naturally, Madeleine is highly displeased by the idea.
However, things are about to get much worse. Madeleine and Pauline receive another knock at the door from Mr Brun (Régis Laspalès), who works for the French National Police. Mr. Brun reveals that Mr. Montferrand was found with a bullet in his skull, and his wallet, which had a large sum of money, is now missing. Because Madeleine saw Mr. Montferrand in the morning and had an altercation, she is now on the list of prime suspects. However, Madeleine and Pauline devise a clever plan: Madeleine will take the fall for the crime, claiming self-defence, which will put her in the public eye, giving her fame and wealth. While everything is going to plan, someone who knows the truth soon shows up on Madeleine and Pauline’s doorstep.
Combining crime and comedy, the film is highly playful, charming, and delightful. The Crime is Mine has snappy, fast-paced dialogue, and it is easy to be continually engaged with the leading characters as they find themselves in many unexpected situations. In essence, Madeleine and Pauline tackle one challenge after the next, digging deeper to get themselves out of trouble. The question is, can they be clever enough to achieve a win-win situation?
Those who enjoy thrillers won’t find too much uncertainty in the big reveals, such as the murder that takes place in the opening. However, to my surprise, the storyline takes multiple turns, each unexpected, leaving me questioning how Madeleine and Pauline will escape the newfound situations. The film opens strongly, getting straight to its point with no muck around. The musical score by Philippe Rombi is also well-fitting, and the same can be said about the stunning costume designs. Minor details in the set designs are another strength, as is the supporting performance from actress Isabelle Huppert (playing Odette). Huppert appears later in the film and delivers a tremendous performance.
Overall, The Crime is Mine is highly amusing and playful. Carrying witty and fast-paced dialogue, the film immediately gets on with its story from the opening. Hurdles for the characters are laid out quickly, making it nearly impossible not to be curious and invested in our leads as they try to escape their various predicaments. There are many unexpected twists and turns, each surprising and adding comedy and cleverness. Costumes and set designs are also impressive, plus supporting cast actress Isabelle Huppert is terrific on-screen.
Crime is Mine (2023) is Now Available in Australian Cinemas.