19 October 2021

Denis Villeneuve's Maelström (2000)

(At the time of writing I've seen five films directed by the Québéquois Denis Villeneuve, and although they are all different from each other they all involve similar plot elements: an incident triggering existential crisis, and a change of psychic state at or towards the end. For this reason I include this paragraph in parenthesis in each of my comments on the five films.)

Maelström, Denis Villeneuve's second feature, takes us into weirder territory to his début Un 32 août sur terre, if only because the occasional narrator is a fish on a slab about to be decapitated: not to worry, this narration is only occasional. But here we have Bibiane (Marie-Josée Croze) not only going through traumas to start with, but then becoming a hit-and-run driver as she accidentally kills a man when driving drunk. She learns the next day that the man is dead, attends his funeral and meets his son Evian (Jean-Nicolas Verreault). She lies about how she came to know the man she's killed, and inevitably (this may be weird cinema but it's still cinema) they become lovers. A car trip leads to a guilt trip, leads to, well, who knows? A man is in love with the woman who killed his father, is what.

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