Eternel et incontournable chef-d'oeuvre de Fritz Lang avec ses inoubliables scènes de référence et de citation (le ballon acheté à un aveugle, l'air de "Peer Gynt" sifflé machinalement par Peter Lorre, la lettre "M" sur son pardessus, le tribunal de la pègre) qui se voit et se revoit sans lassitude aucune... www.cinefiches.com
With the exception of a quickly-glanced young victim and her mother at the beginning, the Lorre character is the closest character that we sympathize with, but that's not until the very end and after he gives us the shivers long beforehand. Great film, even if it's an unemotive procedural until the finale that says a lot about our world and despite no one commanding our attention like the child-murdering Lorre.
There's a lot to talk about with M but what fascinated me most was the sound design. There are several scenes where action is accompanied by total silence: the police raid, Beckert's flight from the beggars, etc. This may have been done to save money, but the effect is chilling. It makes events feel like they take place in a vacuum, an airless nightmare world. It's as if everyone onscreen is holding their breath.
3-4. I have mixed feelings about the fact that no personally compelling figure really emerges amongst the throngs of people moving to ensnare the title murderer. But that doesn't keep it from being astonishing, not only aesthetically, but in the way it keeps its head above vengeful, personal emotions to affirm the law, and then emphasize the full weight of the film's priority in just a few lines. It's truly striking.
Could you sympathise with a child killer? Of course the answer is no, but somehow, in some twisted wizardry or in this case, Fritz Lang's genius stroke of his cinematic wand. He flips the narratives metaphor, antagonist and morals on its head several times. The cinematography lends homage from the German Expressionist period whilst simultaneously crafting the path of Film Noir. Peter Lorre's performance is stellar