Whenever a star takes on the responsibility of being in a franchise, they must accept that it will follow them wherever they go. For Daniel Radcliffe, he played a literal penis stirring corpse in 2016’s greatest venture Swiss Army Man and yet everyone will see him bespectacled wizard of the Harry Potter series. Robert Downey Jr has had a lengthy career but his performances in the Avengers series have solidified the fact that he is Iron Man. And Johnny Depp… Well, he’s actually a man actively going back to the same character repeatedly and, in fact, he needs to stop.
Kristen Stewart has made an impact in the independent film industry, despite her lip-biting sullen antics of Bella in the Twilight Series. Whilst many may throwback to a time where she yelled this…
… with the straightest face ever, her efforts in underground and unusual films are to be celebrated (particularly when she takes her talents behind the camera.) Personal Shopper is a perfect example of moving away into intriguing and compelling projects.
Directed by Olivier Assayas, the man behind Clouds of Sils Maria, the film sees Stewart as Maureen, a high-fashion personal shopper to the stars. She also happens to be a spiritual medium trying to find a connection to the other-worldly plane. Haunting her late twin’s home in Paris, Maureen is determined to make contact with him. Will he respond?
A compelling performance by Stewart resides at the core of this riveting supernatural romp. A soft and drawling tone establishes a haunted atmosphere that punctuates the air with intimacy and unease. In the centre of that, Stewart is a delicate character, drawing you into her circle and her story with a dynamic and hypnotising edge. The dimensions of Maureen’s mental and emotional state twist and turn in an insatiable drama with terrifying moments, that engages from beginning to end.
The unnerving elements of Assaya’s work creep vividly on the screen. Caught in the vibrant and muted colour of Paris, Maureen’s fashion job collides with the stunning architecture of the capitol of France imbuing this interesting and unique film with a visual style and palette so hauntingly dream-like that you sink straight into it. This lush aesthetic which coats a film that is so raw in its emotive state that it is impossible to look away.
Personal Shopper is a film that hooks you in from the beginning to the end. Helped by the evocative performance by Kristen Stewart, this is a raw film that deals with grief in its purest form. Whether you are convinced of the spiritual elements or not, Personal Shopper is an affecting film that deals with solitude, loneliness, and love for someone who simply isn’t there anymore. You simply cannot stop watching or turn away as the events unfold on screen.
Like a dream or nightmare you are unable to wake from, this is one of reflection and rumination long after watch. Simply spectacular.
Personal Shopper is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now!