This was never fully explained in the movie.

Why did Patrick rape Michèle? Was this action of Patrick in any way connected to the crimes of Michèle's father? Did he similarly rape anyone else (Michèle raised this as a possibility near the end), or was it just Michèle?

There are two explicit clues I can remember:

  • At one point, Michèle asks "Why?" and Patrick merely responds that "It was necessary."

  • Near the end of the movie, Patrick's devout Catholic wife says to Michèle that "Patrick was a good man but he had a tortured soul. ... I'm sincerely glad you could give him what he needed." (Hinting that she knew full well what had gone on. Michèle seems to be merely mildly surprised.)


There's no gentle way to put this.

Patrick raped Michèle because he enjoys it. He is indeed a tortured soul. When Michèle finds out that Patrick is the rapist by removing his mask, she was surprised that a perfect gentleman of a husband is the rapist and she did not even report to the officers thinking it would cost his perfect marriage.

This scene explains why Patrick raped her.

When Patrick invites Michèle and his son for dinner at his house, he takes her to the basement to explain about room heater. He then starts attacking her and Michèle starts resisting but it is only for a while, when she starts liking it, he says,

It does not work that way.

That's when Michèle understands about his and start resisting again and beating him with the nearest available tools in the basement. Meaning, she also enjoys it.

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