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Simon Killer


Stars: Brady Corbet, Mati Diop, Michael Abiteboul, Constance Roussea

Director: Antonio Campos

Antonio Campos’ first film was the (for me) wildly overrated Afterschool. This blend of character study of an extremely flawed character rather too convincingly played by Brady Corbet is rather better, although still infected with the calculated misanthropy that characterized the earlier film.

Corbet, suffering badly from a failed relationship, heads for Paris where, living in a borrowed flat, he watches porn and sends unanswered text messages to the woman who rejected him. After which, while drifting aimlessly around the streets of Paris he meets living cliché Mati Diop – a prostitute with a heart of gold – whom he eventually involves in a blackmail scheme, which is when Simon Killer changes gear and switches from (paper-thin) character study into a banal blend of thriller, eroticism, violence and out-and-out posing…

Almost certainly (given few will actually go to see the film) Campos’ latest effort will be mistaken by many as ‘art’: while it scores as an ‘art’ movie, largely because of its patent pretentiousness, in the final analysis it is considerably less than the sum of its pretensions.

While there were some moments that rang dramatically and psychologically true and/or engaged my interest, they were too few and too far apart.

Alan Frank

USA/France 2012. UK Distributor: Eureka. Colour.
101 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 3, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 12 Apr 2013