‘The Crime Is Mine’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Who Is Montferrand’s Real Killer?

In the real world, the difference between right and wrong can often get blurry, but a captivating tale like The Crime Is Mine defies convention. Imagine a scenario where crime, against all expectations, becomes the catalyst for an individual’s wildest dreams to come true. It’s a story that challenges our preconceived notions and invites us to explore the complex nuances of human desire and ambition. Step into the mesmerizing world of The Crime Is Mine, a captivating film set in the evocative era of the 1930s. In the midst of an unforgiving landscape of poverty and unfulfilled dreams, two best friends, Madeleine and Pauline, find themselves caught in the relentless grip of their dire circumstances. But fate takes an unexpected twist when the shocking murder of the renowned producer Montferrand thrusts its way into their lives.


Spoilers Ahead 

What Challenges Do Madeleine And Pauline Face?

Enter the tumultuous lives of Madeleine and Pauline, two determined women who face an uphill battle against their dreams amidst relentless problems. Despite Madeleine’s acting talent and Pauline’s legal acumen, securing fulfilling careers remains an elusive feat, leaving them shattered and yearning for both professional success and the joys of starting a family. Madeleine finds solace in her love for André, a man who holds her heart, but his unfulfilled promises of marriage only deepen her longing for stability. Meanwhile, Pauline’s pursuit of love encounters constant disappointment as she struggles to find a compatible partner. Even their attempts to secure employment are met with misfortune and their lives are made worse by frequent visits from their persistent landlord, further entangling them in their poverty-stricken lives.


Just when hope begins to flicker, Madeleine receives an enticing offer to play the lead role in the popular play “Suzette’s Ordeal.” However, her journey takes a distressing turn when she visits the residence of producer Montferrand. In a horrifying twist of fate, Madeleine becomes a victim of his physical abuse. But she resists succumbing to his indecent proposal, refusing to trade her body for a coveted role. Amidst all the hardships, Pauline provides support to Madeleine, but their lives take a chilling turn when a police officer pays them an unexpected visit.

How Does The Montferrand Murder Case Impact The Lives Of Madeleine And Pauline?

In a twist of fate, Madeleine is blamed for Montferrand’s death because she hid a gun inside her house but the cops didn’t believe that it was for her and Pauline’s safety. Unfortunately, the gun is also identical to the weapon used in Montferrand’s murder. Despite her innocence, higher officials and the investigating judge, Gustave, persistently place the blame on Madeleine, weaving a web of fictional scenarios to frame her for the crime. Yet, with Pauline steadfastly by her side, they swiftly shift the narrative, transforming the case into one of self-defense and offering a glimmer of hope to save Madeleine from a prolonged prison sentence. As Gustave reveals that Madeleine’s case could potentially be seen as a legitimate defense, a moment of crucial decision emerges. Madeleine selflessly takes the entirety of the blame upon herself. However, unexpected events unfold when Madeleine’s case gains significant attention, propelling both her and Pauline into the limelight.


With Pauline’s support and legal acumen, Madeleine delivers an emotionally captivating testimony in court. Through their carefully constructed strategy, they present a compelling story of physical abuse, leaving the world captivated by Madeleine’s plight. This victory not only secures Madeleine’s career, but she flourishes and gains recognition for her acting talent, while Pauline’s reputation as a skilled legal advocate skyrockets. Both women find themselves catapulted into a realm of success and public adoration. They are determined to protect one another, and this is fueled by their unbreakable friendship.

As the months pass by, Madeleine and Pauline luxuriate in their newly acquired life of opulence, savoring the fruits of their success. But a haunting realization begins to cast a shadow over Madeleine’s conscience. She becomes keenly aware that her actions—the triumph in court and the subsequent fame—have inadvertently ignited a distorted fascination among certain individuals. The word spreads like wildfire, propagating the notion that claiming self-defense could pave the way for infamy and liberation from the clutches of the law. Troublingly, this belief becomes an inspiration for some to contemplate and even embark upon wrongful paths, seeking to harm their spouses or partners, all in the hope of emulating Madeleine’s trajectory.


How Does Odette Chaumette’s Arrival Change Everything For Madeleine And Pauline?

With the taste of success still lingering, Madeleine and Pauline are taken aback when a persistent knock on their door interrupts their new life. Initially dismissing the visitor as a mere fan, their curiosity piqued when the woman, Odette Chaumette, reveals startling details about Montferrand’s murder—a revelation that unveils her as the actual perpetrator. Odette, once a renowned actress herself, had seen her popularity wane in recent times. She had a long history with Montferrand, initially he was her chauffeur, but her fame transformed Montferrand into a prominent producer and brought them together romantically.

Odette’s frustration reached its tipping point when Montferrand repeatedly deceived her with false promises of a significant role, using her desperation for a comeback against her. As financial instability weighed heavily on Odette, she discovered Montferrand had acquired a substantial sum of money. So Odette approached him, requesting a loan to alleviate her financial burdens. The encounter took an alarming turn when Montferrand, wielding a gun, attempted to intimidate Odette into leaving. This act of aggression ignited a torrent of emotions within Odette—anger, disrespect, and rage at the disrespect she endured. 


In a moment of intense provocation, Odette skillfully employed her charms to disarm Montferrand, ultimately leading to his demise. Odette’s intentions in that fateful moment were born out of a culmination of frustration and betrayal. She saw an opportunity to exact her revenge against a man who had manipulated and exploited her dreams for far too long. While her actions may have been driven by the intensity of the moment, Odette’s underlying motivation was to reclaim her power, emerge from the shadows of Montferrand’s tyranny, and finally assert her worth as a talented actress.

In What Ways Does Fernand Palmarède Lend His Support To Madeleine And Pauline?

As The Crime Is Mine hurtles towards its ending, Odette makes a chilling proposition: she promises to keep the truth of Montferrand’s murder a secret, but only if she receives money. In her twisted logic, Odette believes that her actions inadvertently paved the way for Madeleine and Pauline’s success. This proposition, however, infuriates Madeleine, who refuses to succumb to Odette’s manipulations. She challenges Odette to reveal the truth to the authorities, daring her to face the consequences of her crime. When Odette confesses to Montferrand’s murder, Gustave doesn’t believe her. Despite his deep desire to believe Odette, her confession clashes with the compelling narrative constructed by Madeleine. Gustave finds himself torn between conflicting accounts, unsure of whom to trust. As his credibility hangs in the balance, the fear of being branded a fool and a liar threatens to engulf him.


In a bid to salvage his reputation and maintain a semblance of control, Gustave asks her to choose some other case from his stack of unsolved crimes but Odette declines Gustave’s offer, refusing to allow her fate to be dictated by others. Meanwhile, Madeleine, driven to desperation, takes a daring step. She approaches Fernand Palmarède, an esteemed architect and master builder who has long held a deep admiration for her. Though Madeleine initially attempts to use her charms to sway Palmarède, she soon realizes his intentions are pure. He genuinely cares for her and is willing to lend his support without any ulterior motives. In a desperate bid to attain everything Madeleine has ever desired, she and Pauline concoct a daring plan that could change their lives forever. Madeleine becomes acutely aware that her boyfriend, André, hesitates to marry her due to his father, Mr. Bonnard’s, overwhelming debts, and he also despises Madeleine. With this crucial insight, Palmarède devises a strategy to rescue Mr. Bonnard’s company from the brink of bankruptcy by investing money into it, thereby safeguarding their financial stability.

As the pieces fall into place, Palmarède crafts a carefully constructed narrative that portrays Madeleine as the savior of the Bonnard family’s fortunes. The plan is set in motion, with Madeleine skillfully deploying her acting prowess once again. She confronts Mr. Bonnard, confessing that she is not the murderer and placing the blame squarely on Odette’s shoulders. The revelation shocks Mr. Bonnard, prompting him to protect Madeleine’s reputation and secure the business deal with Palmarède by concealing the truth. Moreover, Mr. Bonnard is also a huge fan of Odette, and this changes everything between Bonnard and Madeleine as he accepts her relationship with André. Understanding the stakes at play, all parties involved agree to maintain the secrecy surrounding Odette’s true identity as the culprit. Mr. Bonnard agrees to compensate Odette for her silence, ensuring that her financial needs are met. With this resolution, the fragile balance is restored, and life returns to a semblance of normalcy for Madeleine and Pauline.


‘The Crime Is Mine’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Madeleine And Pauline?

In the end, Madeleine’s plans not only save her from the tarnish of being labeled a murderer but also solidifies her position in the eyes of Palmarède and Mr. Bonnard. Their belief in her innocence, coupled with the prosperous business deal, provides Madeleine with the stability and acceptance she has yearned for. As the dust settles, Madeleine emerges unscathed, her reputation intact and her dreams within reach. In a fortuitous twist of fate, Odette and Madeleine find themselves collaborating in a play, working together to transform the story of Montferrand’s murder into a fictional narrative. As the play unfolds, the scenes portray Odette’s character saving Madeleine’s character by shooting a lookalike of Montferrand, symbolizing their mutual support amidst the upheavals in their lives. Though Odette and Madeleine didn’t directly rescue each other from Montferrand, their intertwined journeys reveal how they inadvertently became saviors for one another.

If Odette and Madeleine hadn’t crossed paths, their lives would have taken vastly different trajectories. Odette, burdened by frustration and disillusionment in her relationship with Montferrand, may have succumbed to her desperation or continued down a path of declining fame. Madeleine, on the other hand, may have struggled to break free from Montferrand’s influence and the false accusations against her. Regarding the moral implications of their actions, it’s a complex question to answer definitively. While their involvement in Montferrand’s murder was driven by self-defense and the desire for justice, the fact remains that taking another person’s life is generally considered morally wrong. However, their subsequent efforts to seek redemption, support each other, and utilize their talents for positive change demonstrate a genuine growth in character.


As for their future, the possibilities are both promising and uncertain. The success of their collaboration in the play opens doors for further artistic endeavors, granting them renewed public approval and acclaim. Madeleine and André’s impending marriage signifies a step towards personal fulfillment and happiness. They may still face lingering consequences and moral dilemmas stemming from their past actions. It is up to them to navigate these challenges with integrity and continue to evolve as individuals. Overall, The Crime Is Mine immerses viewers in a captivating and thought-provoking narrative as the film masterfully weaves a compelling story with its well-crafted characters. While the movie presents a realistic portrayal of human emotions and relationships, it also incorporates elements that push the boundaries of possibility. These artistic liberties serve to enhance the storytelling and create an engrossing cinematic experience.

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Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya is a Mass Media graduate and she is currently working and living in Mumbai. From a very young age, Raschi was heavily interested in reading and writing. She prefers to write everything that her mind nurtures her to do as shaping up her imagination is her forte!

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