Monsieur Hire (M. Hire) - Review
The title character, M. Hire (Michel Blanc),
is a quiet, unprepossessing man. Slightly odd, he is persecuted
by his neighbours for his aloofness. He seems indifferent to this
He is a middle-aged balding sombre man. His
remaining jet-black hair contrasts with his unnaturally pale face.
Monsieur Hire's life is organised with the precision of an obsessive
compulsive who fears any deviation from routine. He lives alone
in a neatly ordered apartment.
He dresses neatly and and goes out each day
to work by himself in his small office in town. He operates a
Each night he comes home to his modest flat
in an apartment block and his pet mice. He cooks an egg, listens
to the same piece of music, and stands in the dark looking out
of his window, staring across the court into the apartment of
a young woman called Alice (Sandrine Bonnaire).
M Hire is obviously a voyeur. Every aspect of
Alice's life is open to him. Alice is unaware of M.Hire, concealed
by the darkness. He watches her every move - eating, sleeping,
receiving her fiancé Emile (Luc Thuillier). He is cold
and cruel, and does not seem to make her happy.
A young woman - not Alice - is found dead in
the neighborhood. Monsieur Hire is a suspect, since there are
no real clues and M Hire is known as an odd character. He has
no friends. He is not liked. Suspicion grows.
One evening a flash of lightning during a storm
illuminates M Hire behind his window, Alice glimpses him staring
Alice does not behave as one might expect. To
be sure she is disconcerted, but she does not seem too worried
about her privicy. Perhaps she enjoys being watched. She engineers
a meeting with M.Hire the next day. They strike up a relationship,
and we discover that there is more to the story than we suspected.
M Hire has a police record. We learn this as
he is repeatedly questioned by a policeman - the interplay of
Inspector (André Wilms) and suspect is masterfully accomplished.
Together with fine acting, the writing and cinematography
produces an extraordinary movie playing on the themes of loneliness,
frustrated passion, the power of love, and betrayal.
Monsieur Hire is a film about desires
never fulfilled, conversations never held, dreams never lived,
fantasies never realized.
The story of Monsieur Hire comes from a novel
by Georges Simenon. Les Fiançailles de M. Hire is
one of his best stories, a study of loneliness - much more detailed
than the film.
Monsieur Hire (M. Hire) - Information
Genre: Drama, Crime, Thriller, Romance
Runtime: 81 min
Directed by Patrice Leconte
Georges Simenon (novel Les Fiançailles de M. Hire)
Patrice Leconte &
Philippe Carcassonne producer
René Cleitman producer
Original Music Michael Nyman
Non-Original Music Johannes Brahms (from "Quartet
in G minor, opus 25")
Cinematography by Denis Lenoir
Sound Mix: Mono
Michel Blanc Monsieur Hire
Sandrine Bonnaire Alice
Luc Thuillier Emile
André Wilms Inspector
Bizarrely, No DVD of this film seems to be available