Cert: 15 Runtime: 105 mins Director: Oliver Assayas Cast: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Andres Danielsen and Ty Olwin
So we made this oath… Whoever died first would send the other a sign.
Oliver Assayas gave Kristen Stewart a new lease of life with Clouds of Sils Maria in 2014. She is now the lead for his latest Personal Shopper. It has received mixed reviews across the board, but it does sound like my kind of film. What is Personal Shopper about? Personal shopper to a snitty German supermodel (Nora von Waldstätten), Maureen (Kristen Stewart) is also a medium, and is trying to contact her own twin brother, who died of an affliction that she shares. What’s more, she is being pursued by a malevolent stalker – or is she? This is quite probably the first ghost story where the most suspenseful moments center on the texts popping up on a smart phone screen. This one is more than a ghost story – it’s also a story of grief, a search for identity, and yes, that desire or need to connect with the afterlife.
This taut, low-key mystery thriller proves to be quite unnerving and if you let it, it will become a source of self-debate afterwards. Personal Shopper is a combination of many, many different styles, tones, and events. It shifts back, forth, left, right, up, down, and any other way you could possibly think of. My favourite thing about the film is its pure originality, unpredictability, and refusal to reveal its secrets. Personal Shopper uses its ambiguity, mystery and frantic to come together as one fascinating and riveting thriller that kept my heart beating the entire time. It’s beautifully directed and edited, and the story actually has a lot to say about what it means to lose a family member. The story gets complicated halfway, showing a victim different from the one we assumed in the first place. In other words, an unexpected turn of events. More of these are to follow suit. It makes us wonder who is behind some unexplained phenomena.
I’m hard-pressed to find something I didn’t like in the movie just because every time it went in an odd direction or did something weird, I was so intrigued by the way it avoided mainstream norms. Like I said earlier, it would have been very easy to have a misstep in all of the changes in tone and story, and it would have been easy to have a flimsy structure and not be able to decide what it actually wants to be. Personal Shopper would have been nothing without Kristen Stewart! Her development as an actress is astounding. I have yet to see Clouds of Sils Maria but I will be checking it out soon. Kristen Stewart who carries the full weight of the film truly. Personal Shopper should not be missed!