TF1 is broadcasting the TV movie “Le Mystère Daval” tonight, which tells the story of the investigation into the murder of Alexia Daval by her husband Jonathann. Maud Baecker and Liam Baty (“Tomorrow belongs to us”) hold the main roles with Michèle Bernier.
What is it about ?
Saturday, October 28, 2017, 12:10 p.m. Two men disembark, distraught, at the Gray police station. Jonathann Daval, accompanied by his brother-in-law, reports the disappearance of his wife, Alexia. She went for a jog in the morning and didn’t come back. What happened to him?… For 3 months, the gendarmes will carry out a relentless, exemplary investigation, as discreetly as possible, to gather evidence, then make the person they believe does not tell everything confess. : Jonathann.
Monday, September 12 at 9:10 p.m. on TF1, and already available on Salto.
Who is it with?
Discovered by the general public in Tomorrow belongs to us where he slipped into the skin of Rémi, Liam Baty camps here Jonathann Daval. His on-screen wife, Alexia Daval, is played by Maud Baecker ((Almost) Perfect Love), also a defector from the hit soap opera of the first channel, in which she lends her features to Anna.
The parents of the victim, Isabelle and Jean-Pierre Fouillot, are played by Michèle Bernier (La Stagiaire) and Jérôme Anger (Le saut du diable). The sister and brother-in-law of the deceased, Grégory and Stéphanie Gay, are embodied by Raphaël Ferret (Aim for the heart) and Ingrid Donnadieu.
Vanessa Guide (3615 Monique) and Thierry Neuvic (La Maison d’en face) bring to life on screen Magali Paulin and Commander Dacosta, the police officers in charge of the investigation into Alexia’s murder.
Well worth a look ?
Directed by Christophe Lamotte and written by screenwriters Emmanuelle Rey-Magnan and Pascal Fontanille, Le Mystère Daval is a fiction loosely inspired by real events, based on the book The Alexia Daval affair – the real story by Laurent Briot and Christophe Dubois.
After the broadcast ofA French affair on TF1 in 2021, the first channel is still tackling the heavy task of bringing to the screen a sordid news item, which has fascinated as much as shocked France. Here, it all started when Jonathann Daval reported the worrying disappearance of his wife to the police.
Alexia Daval’s body was quickly found and the husband of the deceased has always claimed his innocence, with the support of the victim’s family who considered him one of their members. However, the evidence piled up against him and, in police custody, he confessed to having killed his wife accidentally because he supposedly wanted to “calm her down”.
Later, the assassin changed his version of the facts to present the authorities with a scenario of a family conspiracy, involving the Fouillots and the Gays, in order to try to clear himself. During a confrontation with Isabelle, Alexia Daval’s mother who loved her son-in-law like her own son, the killer finally admitted to having made it all up and that he was solely responsible.
Punctuated by improbable twists and ending with a terrible resolution, Alexia Daval’s feminicide has everything on paper to produce an exciting TV movie. Alas, here, we generally feel disconcerted by what they want to show us.
Over-mediatized and recent, this drama is still very present in the minds of the French. Perhaps because of this, the distress and disillusion played out by the actors is hard to believe when we still have in mind the bruised faces of the true protagonists of this terrible story. The actors also show a certain lack of intensity in the majority of the fiction.
We can also regret that the case is unfolding pure and hard before our eyes, too rigidly, step by step, without ever dwelling enough on the complex and confusing psychology of Jonathann Daval, whom all his relatives nevertheless tried to qualify as “real nice“…
The pace of the fiction is slow and the tension struggles to mount over the viewing. Some sequences are interesting because, via the characters of the police or the profiler (Alika Del Sol, Here it all begins), we discover the techniques of the investigators to elucidate a criminal case. However, these very explanatory scenes weigh down the story in passing. Shame.
Despite everything, Le Mystère Daval offers some relatively successful key moments. The scenes of the murderer’s confession in front of his mother-in-law or that of the reconstruction of the crime are rather moving. At the very least, they allow viewers to see Liam Baty explore a different register of the one in which we are used to following him. The resemblance between the actor and Jonathann Daval is also disturbing.
Not sufficiently inhabited, this school adaptation is likely to appeal to fans of various facts.