Criminal (France) a part of the twelve-episode journey of crime cases by different countries like United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and France. Criminal (France) perfectly balances diversity and unique plots with good office wars. Frederic Mermoud balances almost everything perfectly within 40 minutes of each episode.
Episode 1: Emilie As a woman tries to recall the events during the attack of Bataclan in which she lost her boyfriend we see an emotionally unstable suspect, her emotional breakdown, her forgetfulness suits her case. But similar to episode one of UK version of Criminal, we see a case being solved on the observations of minute details. Sara Giraudeau is Émilie gives a stunning performance. I pretty much liked the character and acting of Mhamed Arezki as Detective Omar, he looks calm and composed and easy-going but is a bomb when the correct time comes. Laurent Lucas as Detective Olivier is arrogant, experienced and is pissed off all the time because he thinks he should have got the position of the team leader. Varied characters, office wars, interrogation room tension all of it is combined neatly.
Episode 2: Caroline An esteemed businesswoman Caroline is the supervisor for the construction of a large scale building. She is smart and it isn't easy to get under her skin. But the detectives are all set to break her armor related to a murder in her construction site. This episode depends on the emotional element in the end and thus balances the show properly. Margot Bancilhon as team leader Detective Audrey tries to maintain her reputation and also wants to show the team that she might be rude sometimes but she has always held the back of the team. Nathalie Baye as Caroline is just phenomenal, she never breaks her character. This episode is a little predictable but it is quite thrilling and dramatic in proper proportions.
Episode 3: Jérôme
This episode is very unique, it contains the thrill, the emotions, the tension and also highlights a present social issue strongly. Jérémie Renier is a perfect choice for Jerome's character. We also see the interrogation being partly done by Detective Audrey and Sergeant Serra fulfilling the proper characterization and screen presence quotient of the show. The episode is creative and very different from those shown in the whole anthology of Criminal. This episode too might get a little predictable from the midway but the drama and Jeremie's convincing performance suggest you stay till the end. One of the best plots among the lot.
Overall, Criminal (France) lives up to the expectations and delivers you an engaging drama with emotions, thrill and unique plot.
FINAL VERDICT - 3.5 / 5.
A Must Watch.