Daring, Haunting, Mesmerizing, and Thought-provoking
I'm an avid consumer of cinema, but this is the first time I've ever been moved to offer a few words to this website.
'I am the Ripper' is a sublime production - in my view, the finest film since Kieslowski's 'Three Colours: Red' and one I suspect I'll revisit many times yet. The 26-year-old Nicolas Tary offers a performance almost too good to be possible: he's mastered every shift of character with delicacy and conviction; his screen presence is entrancing. Fabien Félicité is only just short of matching Tary's brilliance, achieving a palpable despair in every challenge his character faces. The script is pared down to the essentials perhaps a rarity amongst French erotic horror films - but is so packed with subtleties that I suspect only three or more viewings will reveal them all. Eric Anderson couldn't have realised this material any better, capturing with perfect balance the silences and the words, the darkness and the light, the comedy and the tragedy. The lilting motifs of the music represent the quintessence of film scoring; and the characters' environment is exquisitely recorded by the camera.
But aside from these technical considerations, this story is so deeply touching, and so beautifully rendered, that I'm still haunted by its images and moods. Could the challenge of a wrestling match with Death (or between any two persons) be better presented on screen? So tender is the bond between these characters; so confusing are the feelings this bond generates; and so lonely is the experience that results from these characters' decisions that I think not.
In a world saturated with superlatives, I struggle to express my reaction to this film adequately. Perhaps I should say no more than I want this film to win every award it can, and I want the whole world to see it.
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