I watched Les Visiteurs on DVD this evening, in-between the boxing, football, tennis and table tennis. It has been a while since I first saw it, which was on VHS and a much smaller screen. Last time round I enjoyed it but was a bit underwhelmed, possibly because I was expecting s much from it, but this time I appreciated it a lot more. Since the first time I have seen a lot more films with Jean Reno so seeing him in a comedy now was even more of a novelty. (Beware: spoilers after the break)
One thing bothered me though, a fundamental plot hole which I don’t think I spotted before. I’m OK with the idea that a great, great, great, great (however many times) grandchild looks identical to their ancestor. It is unlikely but since it is necessary for the plot it is worth making allowances. Likewise the chances of another descendent also looking identical to their ancestor and the coincidence that they are still in the same area and have a similar name and all the rest.
It was the jewels that got me.
In order for Jean Reno’s character to have an ancestor who looks identical to Frénégonde, he must have married her and had children, which means that he didn’t accidentally kill her father. However, in order for Jacquouille to be able to retrieve the jewels he hid in the statue he had to have stolen them from the father’s body in the chapel, which only happened because he had been killed.
The only way to avoid the paradox is to assume that Frénégonde’s father died at some later point and then Jacquouille stole the jewels at the different funeral and hid them in the same place. That is just one assumption too far isn’t it?
Only a minor quibble though, and it didn’t spoil the film. Looking forward to watching the sequel, maybe tomorrow night, even if it is generally regarded as a bit disappointing compared to the original. I haven’t seen it before, so it will all be new to me.