This Man Must Die (Que la Bête Meure) may be Chabrol's Iliad. It is, at least according to the description of that work given by the film's protagonist as he helps Philippe with his homework—Philippe, adolescent son of the man whom he intends to kill for the death of his own young son in a hit-and-run accident. He offers The Iliad as an example of a work which is conventional, even banal, in its story, but unconventional, even "poetic," in its details. That, he announces, makes for art. These very words are a fair description of Chabrol's own film…. The broad lines of the action follow the conventions of a conventional genre: the detective story.
However, Chabrol is nodding...
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