Shown on ITV (STV or UTV for those of us not in England), Rowan Atkinson plays the serious role of detective Jules Maigret in Paris around the time of Jack the Ripper in England. And it’s been on this Easer 2016! Keep reading if you want to read my honest thoughts and opinions on Maigret Sets A Trap. Please be aware, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Links are clearly marked as [aff].
This feature length film, 90 minutes long, followed Maigret trying to catch a murderer in Paris. With many recognisable faces, it was a shock to see that the one name I recognised wasn’t the murderer for a change! The acting was brilliant and the storyline wasn’t too far fetched as so many of these crime shows can be. Based on the extensive book series by Georges Simenon, Maigret Sets A Trap is a great way to whet your appetite if you’re looking for a new murder mystery series to dive into. If you would like to read the books before watching any of the Rowan Atkinson episodes, you can find them here! [aff]
Over a five month period in 1955, four women are stabbed to death in Montmartre after dark; a prostitute and a midwife among them. Women with nothing in common beyond being brunette. Justice minister Morel leans on chief Inspector Maigret to catch the murderer and Maigret sets a trap, using policewoman Marthe Jusserard as a decoy. She survives an attack, sartorial evidence leading to married mother’s boy Marcel Moncin, whom Maigret arrests. However whilst Moncin is in custody there is a further murder and Maigret looks to Moncin’s family to help solve the murders.
This Maigret novel appears to have been filmed various times previously (eg Michael Gambon as Maigret in 1992), and it is unsurprisingly the first choice to be make into a feature length adaptation for ITV. However, with the slow start and most of the excitement in the second half led some of those watching reaching for the remote to change channel during the ads.
For his first serious role, Rowan Atkinson did a pretty decent job of getting me to warm to Maigret. Whilst I’m aware of a lot of complaints about the show, my only problem with it would be the unnecessary music that seems to be in all shows these days. I would agree that sometimes music is needed to set the scene but I think we had all of 2 minutes in the first 15 that didn’t have music going on in the background.
However, I would definitely recommend watching it if you get the chance! I am aware you can purchase the DVD from Amazon (found here for UK readers [aff]), however it might now be available on BritBox. If it is, let me know in the comments below and I can add that in here!
If you enjoy a good crime story, whether in book form or on the TV, you will love The Mirror Crack’d From Side To Side by Agatha Christie!