Samuel Pierret (Gilles Lellouche) is a nurse who saves the wrong guy -- a thief (Roschdy Zem) whose henchmen take Samuel's pregnant wife (Elena Anaya) hostage to force him to spring their ... See full summary »
With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.
Ah, yes, perfect thriller for a rainy afternoon. Events begin in rather predictable, ordinary, mundane fashion: in the very first scene boyfriend receives a Dear John video from girlfriend, she disappears, her whereabouts is a mystery, boyfriend meets new girl, new girl's ex boyfriend - a cop - suspects foul play. What's going on here? At first, go ahead with the snack trips to the refrigerator -- you won't miss much.
But, watch out!
Have you ever watched a blurry, out of focus scene for some time, when suddenly the camera zooms in on a hitherto unnoticed object, the focus becomes razor sharp, and from that moment on everything is changed? Something like this happens here. Once it does, the remainder of the film remains locked on this brand spanking new story and nothing more. Things snap into focus that you hadn't even realized were out of focus. Through the use of unexpected, ironic, playful plot twists and flashback, we suddenly see everything in a new light. So much for trips to the refrigerator.
The use of flashback is particularly fascinating: the viewer witnesses a rerun of the same events, but on second viewing they take on a completely new significance from a different point of view. This is clever stuff. Sure, it's a gimmick, but it works. I suspect Hitchcock would be impressed, and maybe even a little envious.
My point: don't give up on this film, stick it out. If you enjoy thrillers, especially of the mind-variety as opposed to blood and guts, you will not be disappointed. I was literally on the edge of my chair shouting at the TV! We're not talking about a great classic film here, but it is pretty good guilty-pleasure that should keep you riveted through the end.
I have one minor gripe, important to me but probably not to most people: Since classical music has always been a big part of my life, what drew me to the film initially was that the main character is an orchestra conductor. I was disappointed in the music. Familiar themes are bastardized all the time in commercials and other venues that are designed for the general public or for special effects. But this is a story about a conductor, who is working with a real orchestra (Bogotá, Columbia) that is actually playing the music, not "lip synching". Excerpts from a movement of a Beethoven symphony begin true enough, but very soon, alas, the music dissolves into corny clichés that I'm sure would send poor Ludwig spinning in his grave. Unfortunately this same pattern is repeated each time we see and hear the orchestra, with Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Brahms. Can they not let Beethoven be Beethoven, must he be improved upon? On the other hand, almost making up for this regrettable sin: in the credits, every single member of the Bogotá Orchestra is listed, instrument by instrument. I don't recall seeing this in a film before. Bravo. I'm sure the musicians are appreciative.
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