Mais qui a tué Pamela Rose ?

Mais qui a tué Pamela Rose ?
Original title:Mais qui a tué Pamela Rose ?
Director:Éric Lartigau
Running time:89 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
FBI agents Bullit and Riper are investigating the murder of young stripper Pamela Rose, found murdered in a hotel room in Bornsville, a small, quiet American town. Bullit is a man of the field with unusual methods, while Riper is a conscientious instructor, ready to take on his first investigation. Confronted with a rather hostile local police force, these two bumbling, offbeat agents have to catch the murderer or murderers. In the course of their search, Bullit and Riper meet Pamela Rose's best friend Ginger. They soon discover that she knows more than she's letting on...

Mulder's Review

Mais qui a tué Pamela Rose? (Who Killed Pamela Rose?) stands as a quirky gem within the police comedy parody genre. Brilliantly directed by Éric Lartigau in 2003, the film finds its energy in the inimitable duo of Kad Merad and Olivier Baroux, who deliver memorable performances as detectives Bullit and Riper. This wacky comedy stands out for its subversive humor, its mastery of cinematic references, and its ability to juggle mystery and burlesque.

The plot, centered around the enigmatic death of Pamela Rose, unveils a series of events that are as incredible as they are comical. The two protagonists, delightful caricatures of American policemen, add a touch of freshness to a genre that is often treated in a serious manner. Bullit and Riper embody endearing incompetence, propelling the film into a dimension where laughter and lightness dominate.

The film's comic success is largely due to its clever use of detective film codes. Explicit references to masterpieces of film noir and nods to iconic series create a cinematic experience rich in humor and homage. Chiseled dialogue intertwines with absurd situations, creating a frenetic pace that keeps the viewer's attention throughout the film.

The art direction deserves special mention for its carefully crafted retro aesthetic. The sets, costumes and soundtrack transport the audience to a bygone era, while serving as a backdrop for the extravagance of the main characters. This well-judged homage to 70s detective films adds a visual dimension to the duo's unbridled humor.

Kad Merad and Olivier Baroux deliver an exceptional performance, masterfully embodying characters as funny as they are offbeat. Their on-screen complicity is palpable, contributing greatly to the film's comic effectiveness. The nuances of their performances add surprising depth to characters who, despite their eccentricity, remain surprisingly endearing.

However, it's important to point out that the film's singular humor may not appeal to all viewers. Some of the sometimes eccentric jokes and absurd situations may divide opinion. Nevertheless, for those who appreciate zany humor and wacky parodies, But Who Killed Pamela Rose? offers a most entertaining cinematic experience.

Compared to cult series such as Twin Peaks, the film manages to avoid the trap of exaggerated stereotypes. The characters, though wacky, are in keeping with the caricatures of B-movie detective shows, creating an atmosphere that is almost believable despite its absurdity.

By exploring the territory of the screwball comedy with a stupid hero, But Who Killed Pamela Rose? also follows in the tradition of the buddy movie, although sometimes compared to other classics of the genre, the film succeeds in forging its own identity. While delivering some memorable gags, it could be criticized for a slight lack of pace in the staging, but this flaw is more than made up for by the quality of the performances and the richness of the humor.

But Who Killed Pamela Rose? remains a deliriously original police comedy that charms with its offbeat humor, outstanding performances and subtle homage to films of the genre. Despite a few weaknesses, the film offers an entertaining experience that successfully revisits the codes of the detective story while elevating laughter to an art form.

Mais qui a tué Pamela Rose ?
Directed by Éric Lartigau
Produced by Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Cyril Colbeau-Justin
Written by Kad Merad, Olivier Baroux, Julien Rappeneau, 
based on a series of sketches originally broadcast on the Comédie! channel.
Starring Kad Merad, Olivier Baroux, Gérard Darmon, Jean-Paul Rouve, Bénédicte Loyen, Lionel Abelanski, Julie Bataille, Manuel Le Lièvre, Greg Germain, François Cluzet, Alain Chabat, Jean-Noël Brouté, Marina Foïs, Catherine Rethi , Virginie Ledoyen, Jean-Claude Leguay, Xavier Letourneur, Joseph Malerba, Astou Vedel, Jacques Frantz, Laurent Lafitte, Thierry Frémont, José Exposito, Michel Gondoin 
Music by Erwann Kermorvant
Cinematography : Régis Blondeau
Edited by Stéphane Mazalaigue 
Production companies: KL Production, LGM Cinéma, TF1 Films Production, Gaumont
Distributed by Gaumont (France)
Release date : June 4 2003 (France)
Running time : 89 minutes

Seen June 6, 2003 at Majestic Meaux
reviewed November 18, 2023

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