The Cheat

1984 [FRENCH]

Crime / Thriller

IMDb Rating 6.7/10 10 204 204


Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
949.25 MB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 43 min
Seeds 14
1.72 GB
French 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 43 min
Seeds 22

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Rodrigo_Amaro 8 / 10

A seductive and reflective thriller

A superb, nearly brilliant crime thriller about a forbidden love affair, the false moralism of an apparently open-minded society and a man torn apart between his stable family life and his male lover, a possible suspect on a murder case. Yannick Bellon's film deeply explores the ambiguities of life, romance and sex in a reflective, open matter, at times humored but also very dark.

Police comissioner Michel Verta (Victor Lanoux) is called to investigate the mysterious murder of a gay emcee at the Bordeaux docks. At the club the old man used to work he meets Bernard (Xavier Deluc), a young musician very acquainted with deceased, and soon after questioning a fascination takes hold of both. Though Michel is a happily married man, he isn't new to the game in meeting men for sexual relations, and we're told of that right from the very first scene and the story is very smart and keen in showing that he deeply cares for Bernard rather than using the young boy as a bait to catch a killer. This isn't Friedkin's "Crusing", but it easily could be.

Instead of deeply involving us with the investigation, the film focuses on how those two can keep their relationship of a low-profile in order to not attract attention to a prominent and respective figure as the inspector is, also a very careful man since his other affairs were always one night stands that no one suspect about. Yet, he loves his wife and daughter, and his job, but he also knows that Bernard has that special quality one longs in finding on a person and he cannot imagine a life without him. And there's a killer on the loose and the musician might know who he is, so there's danger all around as they become more and more intimate.

"La triche" ("The Cheat") is a very gripping film, no question about that. Lanoux and Deluc are incredibly talented performers and their scenes together are easily the best moments in the film, both in dialogues and intimacy. It's a very seductive and potent film about the problematic and differences between love and passion, real commitment or just mutual interests and the line between all those elements could fool a smart man like Michel, and confuse an impressive streetwise like Bernard. And if there's one great topic debated with a fine intenstity here is the question of sexuality and how labels should never been applied to a person, as Michel's family have trouble with a proper definition when the affair is revealed. And the big question thrown at us: to cheat on himself in order to live a reality one does not completely like, or to throw away everything, to have real love but also feel as an outcast?

But it doesn't go without faults or things that needed a better presentation. I liked the fact that the crime and the investigation ended up being on a second plan, as the problematic love affair is far more interesting to follow. But the problems arise on both ways as 1) it almost feels as there wasn't a clear motivation for the murder; 2) showing the killer right from the get-go hurt the mystery of it all, as I believe audiences would love if Bernard could be the one; and 3) the total lack of audacity in showing the couple being really intimate.

They don't kiss at all, and the two bedroom scenes shown gives us almost nothing. For a film that dares to walk on controversial themes (at the time), the director made it all too clean and cute, there was no risk. And it's not a matter of being a 1980's product, as the previous year French cinema had the sexual audacity from "L'homme blessé", a film that I didn't like for countless problems but I liked the scenes of sexual nature. Mrs. Bellon's film gives us some moments and nude photos from a magazine, but we have to believe in the male couple and their talks, rather than the physical contact.

A true glorious film, exciting and thrilling, and very easy to recomment despite many downbeat elements (but those one could see a mile away as true products of its period. I just felt it was a little too rushed with its conclusion). 8/10.

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Reviewed by kembattery 9 / 10

good story, great actors

To watch this film today makes one very glad of the progress the West has made in the past fifty years over this erstwhile taboo subject. The well-portrayed prejudice regarding gay men, the injustice, the violence, the unacceptable hypocrisy of society has not yet been eradicated, but films like these - delicately explicit - definitely help make the general public more aware and more tolerant.

The actors could not have been better chosen, the director is top. The story itself is excellent, convincing and well-developed, combining elements of thriller, love story and classical drama. Super recommended.

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