The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Amer | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Amer

Directed by: Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani
Starring: Cassandra Forêt, Charlotte Eugène Guibeaud, Marie Bos

A young woman's sexual repression leads her down a path of self destruction.
Reading the above summary you'd be forgiven for confusing this with last years "Black Swan" or Polanski's "Repulsion". Despite the critical plaudits of the aforementioned, Amer is the strongest of the three. That's not to say it's without flaws, and Amer will struggle to win any fans from the general movie-going public. It's told almost entirely without dialogue, something which instantly scores brownie points with me. Having said that there's not much of a story to tell, think "Repulsion" if it was made in mid Seventies Italy.
The movie is split into three distinct segments. The first has our protagonist as a young girl attempt to steal a locket from a decrepit relative who more than resembles the witch from "Suspiria". It heavily references Mario Bava's "Black Sabbath", all primary colours and dripping water. The middle sequence is the standout, a beautifully shot walk through a mediterranean village frought with perceived sexual threat. Sadly the film collapses in it's third act, a blatant "Repulsion" rip-off that drags on too long and leads to a heavy handed metaphorical coda.
If you like purely visual cinema I'd say give this a look purely on the strength of it's first half but prepare to lose interest as it panders out. I'll be curious to see the film-makers next effort, hopefully it'll have a bit more meat on it's stylish bones.