At first, the county police officers in the French countryside think the murdered woman was stuffed inside the bovine’s stomach through its anus.
Soon another dead cow surfaces on the beach with blood oozing out of its anus.
This time a Black construction worker’s body parts are found inside its belly.
Life goes on in the small village near Boulogne-sur-Mer in Northern France.
Apart from the weird funeral ceremony at the church for poor Mrs.Lebleu, the horrific crimes don’t seem to make any difference.
All seems normal.
In the picturesque countryside strewn with World War 2 era bunkers, decades-old grenades and cast off bullets, the cows amble daily to the pastures, the farmers continue to groom their White horses and the nasty kid P’tit Quinquin and his pals are still raising hell with their wild, racist, homophobic antics.
The bumbling cop duo come and go in the little blue car, convinced the area represents the Heart of Evil.
And in the freezing waters of the English Channel, just a short walk down the hill Quinquin, Eve and the other kids frolic.
Then comes the autopsy report – of the cows.
The initial conclusion of the County Sheriff was wrong.
Mon dieu, the two murder victims actually entered the cow’s stomach via its mouth.
Ass or Mouth? – Who Cares!
Now whether the poor murdered woman’s body parts entered the cow via its posterior end or from the anterior side matters little to me.
The beauty of the remarkable French TV film Li’l Quinquin (2014), written and directed by Bruno Dumont, lies entirely in the flow of events.
Not in mundane trivia like how the murders happened or who committed them.
As a matter of fact, three more deaths later we’re no wiser about the identity of the killer. We can guess but that’s about it.
Maybe, we’ll know for sure in Series 2 if there is one.
L’il Quinquin is dotted with charms.
Not the least of which are the two central characters, little P’tit Quinquin (Alane Delhaye) and the old police Captain Van der Weyden (Bernard Pruvost).
The aggressive unruly young boy with his seemingly unremovable smirk and the zany cop with a bizarre trove of facial tics set the TV screen afire.
Wild as Quinquin is, he turns charmingly tender when it comes to his girlfriend Eve.
Alane Delhaye is that rare natural in front of the camera. The young boy can teach Amitabh Bachchan a few acting tricks!
Clueless about the murders and hopelessly barmy, the Captain like all idiots fancies himself smart. Particularly when he’s dealing with his assistant.
Lieutenant Carpentier (whose claim to fame is driving the police car in circles or on two wheels), Quinquin’s sweet girlfriend Eve Terrier, the repeatedly attacked and insulted Black boy Mohammed who finally snaps, Eve’s sister Aurélie Terrier, Quinquin’s handicapped uncle Danny, the cuckold Lebleu and minor members of the cast are the lesser stars orbiting around Quinquin and the police Captain.
Dumont’s smart writing and clever direction keeps the film chugging along without hiccups.
The photography of the village and the countryside is neatly done, adding to the verisimilitude of the whole film.
Is Li’l Quinquin satire or just a well written, beautifully made film? Who can say!
The Black boy Mohammed’s fiery response to the vile taunts and frequent attacks in the film seems like a mini harbinger of the recent killings in Paris by three Muslims. Deny all you want but Life often imitates Art and vice versa.
Li’l Quinquin is available for viewing at the indie streaming subscription site Fandor. But I must warn you though that the quality of streaming on Fandor is not great. The video frequently stutters irritatingly for a second or two. Not the quality you’d expect from a site that charges $10 a month.
On the positive side, all ye cheapo desis will be glad to know that Fandor offers a two-week free trial (credit card still required).
SearchIndia.com is delighted to recommend Li’l Quinquin (running time: 208-minutes).