Recently heartbroken, Simon travels to Paris to clear his head. After several days of wandering aimlessly, Simon finds himself drawn into a sex parlor and has a sexual encounter with an exotic prostitute, Victoria. The chemistry builds between the two until they find themselves in a serious relationship, one that leads to blackmail, betrayal and the ultimate revelation of Simon's true nature. Written by
Jarat Fil Hub (Love's Chalice)
Written by Cheb i Sabbah
Performed by Cheb i Sabbah
Published by One Thousand and Eight Puja Music (BMI)/Six Degrees Beats Publishing (BMI)
Courtesy of Six Degrees Records Under license from dms.FM See more »
After leaving his girlfriend behind in America, recent graduated student Simon (Brady Corbet) travels to France in order to chill out and do nothing, and try to meet other people avoiding being alone the best way he can, usually enjoying female companies. First he meets a prostitute (Mati Diop), of whom they get to know a little better and he starts to help her with some problems; later on he gets the attention of another girl and her friend. With all those connections we get the final image that he's always up to make schemes, taking advantage of everyone he meets and trying to make everything favorable to himself. The problem with this Tom Ripley kind of character is that he is unsympathetic to the audience to the point where you really want to punch him instead of understanding his "pain".
The movie? Self indulgence at its best. And worst: part of the audience buys it very easily. There's no greater message, no big and interesting portrayal of how sociopaths act and it's not even a good movie. It threats to be but it never quite reaches the limited potential it has. This time director Antonio Campos imitates "Last Tango in Paris" by using minimal dialog, going from nowhere to nowhere, filled of empty and boring sequences in between with characters we can't find anything worth relating or understanding. And just like Bertolucci's classic there's the sex. The way it was portrayed and filmed, well, those were remarkable, I give you that. Really playful and exciting.
The only thing that impressed me about "Simon Killer" was Brady Corbet, once again involved in a project that proves some provoking challenges for an actor to play with and he's bold enough when the movie is not stranded in its catatonic state. Corbet is in "Mysterious Skin", "Melancholia" and the remake of "Funny Games", so with that list in mind you already know he's up to something really dark or controversial, great materials. Even though writing the story here, and probably creating the best moments for himself (oh yeah those sex scenes and that includes one truly daring moment - best scene, very original but I warn you beforehand that it can be problematic to close minded folks), he's up to no good. This doesn't generate enough interest as a cinematic experience.
And once again, Mr. Campos employed poor technique methods of cinematography and editing to convey its story the way it must be seen
the voyeuristic look of someone who spies someone at a distance and
behind a person's back. It should help the movie but it's artistically dull and empty. The photography was better used in here than it was in "Afterschool", this time providing good looking shots of a Paris a little emptier than usual which reflects the main character's unbearable loneliness. He captured a good atmosphere of the place combined with the character souls - dark and cold but always trying to be colorful, close and animated, danger closer than everyone thinks, and in every corner. But he still doesn't know how to edit a movie, doesn't know how to take advantage of cuts instead of just using static images. Inaudible or whispered dialogs tortures us from time to time. And has this guy never heard of captions? To leave Simon lost without understanding what people are saying to him in this foreign country is acceptable but Mr. Campos leaves us as well in the dark and for long periods every time there's a conversation in French. There's talent in there, the problem is that he doesn't know how to use it rightly. He desperately needs to know how to write a story without creating too much artificial things, make it more human instead of transparent experiences.
Spare me from saying that it was an enigmatic or philosophical experience. Rubbish. Campos almost fooled me with "Afterschool" (a good film, not great), but he's not fooling me with this. Tedious and shallow but with two or three good things. 5/10
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