Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Personal Shopper (2016)

Director: Oliver Assayas
Writer: Oliver Assayas
DOP: Yorick Le Saux
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz
Language: English, French

I watched this film without seeing its trailer or even reading an IMDB synopsis of it. It is best if you do the same as well. Don't read further if you are planning to watch it.

A personal shopper in Paris refuses to leave the city until she makes contact with her twin brother who previously died there. Her life becomes more complicated when a mysterious person contacts her via text message.

Kristen Stewart is one of the most interesting actors among the young ones and both her and Robert Pattinson have been in some very interesting films since their stint with the Twilight franchise ended. She should have won some awards for her role in Oliver Assayas' previous film 'Clouds of Sils Maria'. In it she played the role of an assistant to a film actress and in this film she plays the role of a personal shopper for a bitchy fashion model, whom we don't see much in the film. I am not very well versed with the horror genre and so when they talk about medium and shit like that, I am a bit clueless. She and her twin-brother are mediums and they mean in the sense that they could feel the presence of spirits and converse with them. The film takes it sweet time to reveal the details and I love this treatment as there aren't many severely expository scenes. I was totally freaked out by the first night scene itself. I think it can be best described as an arty indie kind of ghost film which ends up as a mystery thriller of sorts. There aren't many dialogues and a large portion of the film is through her phone where she is getting texts from an unknown number. It is not that hard to figure out who is texting her even though she is thinking it is a supernatural presence as she is in the look out for her brother's spirit. It is almost 100% told from the perspective of Kristen Stewart's character and she totally carries the film through.

The director chooses not to explain almost anything and we have to figure out on our own. The ending will remind you of 'Sixth Sense' even though it doesn't make much sense. There is a scene towards the end where we see a man ghost walking past in the background out of focus and many viewers would miss it. I don't know if there are other hidden Easter eggs left by the director throughout the film. Oliver Assayas won the best director award at Cannes for this film and it was booed off by the critics during its premier there, which generally means it probably is very good.

Rating: 5/5