By Etienne Tripelon
22 January, 2017
If there is indeed a profession of which by definition we know nothing, but paradoxically all the little boys (as well as girls) wanted to practice, it is the profession of a secret agent. The blame is on James Bond and his avatars. And then we grew up. We understood that the reality was quite different, so the initial fascination faded away, but the mystery remained as full as it is. Eric Rochant, quite evidently, remains passionate about the subject. After having devoted himself to two very good feature films (The Patriots with Yvan Attal in 1994 and Möbius with Jean Dujardin in 2013) here he is doing it again, and this time in the form of a series.
The Bureau (of Legends) is a unit of DGES that remotely trains and manages agents who are sent on a mission abroad under a false identity, in order to recruit individuals who could become sources of intelligence. Season 1 begins with the return of Guillaume Debailly, alias Malotru, who has just spent 6 years undercover in Syria. His role is being played by Mathieu Kassovitz, whose performance is so good that even his usual critics agree, which means something. In fact, the entire cast appears to be flawless. Adding to this, a disturbing realism reinforced by very real missions (in season 2 a French jihadist and an ISIS officer who become particularly threatening), a perfectly crafted script highlighted by a sober realization (no extraordinary special effects, no action scenes with gizmos), yet effective, you get an exciting and one of the best series, all genres combined. It has also known a huge success outside the Hexagon, reaching even the top 5 of the American label: “Episodic Cinema”.
CREATED BY: Eric Rochant (2015) original creation CANAL+
STARRING: Mathieu Kassovitz, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Sarah Giraudeau
GENRE: French Drama, Spy fiction
FORMAT: 2 seasons of 10×52 minutes