It’s hard to know what’s going on in Pauline’s head. This mother of two, who has been manipulated and humiliated for years by her estranged husband, becomes the ideal sinner when he is found in a pool of blood, in her garden, near a scaffolding. Accidentally slipped? Or is it Pauline who has gone to his home to demand that he finally pay her the pension he owes her, which has pushed him into a rage?
“You do not know what he was like”
Everything accuses him. And every time she tries to justify herself, she sinks a little deeper. Even her 8-year-old son is convinced she is guilty. Pauline does not have the words to defend herself, she is fragile, unpredictable. “I do anything, I’m scared of what to do, of what to say. I’m not reliable, he told me that all the time … ”she whispers to her neighbor, one of her only confidants. “You do not know what he was like.”
“What Pauline Doesn’t Tell You” takes the viewer into an enigmatic police and legal story with cleverly controlled suspense from Wednesday, March 9th. The first two episodes of this miniseries, directed by screenwriter Antoine Lacomblez (Influence games, Laetitia, Manon 20 years) and thriller writer Julien Capron, and directed by Rodolphe Tissot (So be they), will be sent from kl. 21.10 at France 2.
A guilty victim and an accused victim
The series, which is divided into four episodes, does not look like any expected thriller. We are struck by the rather dark universe, which gradually brightens up, in this plot, which throws all its characters into a gray zone. From the accused, the judge, the prosecutor or the civil parties, we no longer know who the good ones are, who the bad ones are. We want to believe in the innocence of this woman who seems lost and whose only compass is the well-being of her young children. Even though Pauline at the time of the discovery of the body does not call for help immediately, even though she tries to erase the traces of blood on the steering wheel of her car during her escape, and even when she screams “I I kill him! When he provokes her in phone, we have empathy for her.And even though this brave mother turned out to be guilty, we would understand her a little too.
“I really fell in love with this story, for the sharpness and complexity of the look it had on the intimacy of the creatures, and for the very fine writing of the characters, far from any manicism, which is quite rare on TV.” assures the instructor, Rodolphe Tissot. To support the ambition of this series, mainly filmed in Tours (Indre-et-Loire) in April and May 2021, when the theaters had not yet reopened, a first choice was selected, including Sylvie Testud as an experienced investigator, or Pierre Arditi as a worried father-in-law.
To question our own prejudices
Pauline’s Life, played by Ophelia Kolb (revealed in Ten percent) shakes when the investigating judge, camped by Grace Seri, decides to prosecute her for the murder of her ex-husband. The latter, a young black woman who has just arrived in this small provincial town where everyone knows each other, is under pressure from her hierarchy. The prosecutor (Aurélien Recoing), who makes remarks with misogynistic and racist tones, puts her to the test. We thus understand that the series is not only interested in the isolation of an accused who defends himself badly and which no one believes in, but also in this lawyer who must appear steadfast. At the risk of not being taken seriously in a hostile environment, but perhaps also of making mistakes …
We are thus drawn into the violence of the justice machine, fed by men and women who are as human as the people involved in their cases. Fiction invites us to take a step back from the projections we make every day about these affairs, which we know only from the picture sent back from our television: “She must have killed her husband since he martyred her”. As if only one way out was possible in light of the violence that was instilled and suffered. But maybe it’s more complex than that …
“What Pauline Doesn’t Tell You”, miniseries directed by Rodolphe Tissot and written by Antoine Lacomblez and Julien Capron. Ships to France at 2 p.m. 21.10 of the first two episodes on Wednesday 9 March and the last two on Wednesday 16 March. A co-production of Gaumont Télévision and France Télévisions with especially Ophelia Kolb, Sylvie Testud and Pierre Arditi.