The classical roots of comedy exist in tragedy and that is exactly what is missing from French master Claude Chabrol's Comedy of Power.
This tale, inspired by a true story of corporate corruption, details the efforts of a driven French magistrate named Jeanne Charmant Killman (Isabelle Huppert) who sets her sights on a nefarious group of white-collar swindlers. Each side escalates their efforts to make the other capitulate. While Killman's personal life suffers somewhat, there seems to be little at stake. Granted, Chabrol foregoes the senseless action with which Hollywood would have padded the story, but it's worth pointing out that as power gets used and abused at the highest levels of society, it certainly would have been intriguing if we had some sense of the political or personal tragedy in such fevered pursuits. The Comedy of Power DVD package comes with a making-of featurette and the theatrical trailer, another sign of its straightforward approach. (tt stern-enzi) Grade: B-
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