Simon (Corbet) wakes up on a train as it pulls into Paris; he's just graduated from college and is planning to take some time out, staying with a friend of his mother's friend. Lonely after a breakup with his girlfriend, Simon succumbs to paid company and employs the services of prostitute Victoria/Noura (Diop), who has recently escaped a violent husband. With both hurting, there's an instant connection between them. This could be love, but then you remember the title of the movie...
he theme of disconnect works its way through Simon Killer. Corbet's Simon talks a lot about feelings - he misses his girlfriend and wants reconciliation - but there's a sense that he feels nothing. He walks around museums and galleries with his earphones in; there's an over reliance on internet porn; when he tries to call his ex, he can never reach her; and his French isn't brilliant so there's the language barrier, which halts the wooing process when he tries to follow Constance Rousseau home like a stray.
ampos visualises this detachment with some odd framing, concentrating on midriffs and profiles. This is fine but in mimicking the style of the Belgian Dardenne Brothers (The Child, Lorna's Silence) or Gasper Noe (Enter The Void, Irreversible), the lengthy shots of the back of Corbet's head as he makes his way through Parisian streets is irritating and doesn't make for exciting visuals - we're in the middle of Paris and all Campos can find is the back of Corbet's head?
he different approach to the hooker-with-a-heart story is welcome but after scripting two very interesting characters and a host of story possibilities, Simon Killer plateaus and can't find enough for Simon and Noura to do. With the movie stuck in a holding pattern, Campos has the characters engage in some spontaneous dancing but he does treat us to some cracking tunes. Co-written by Campos, Diop and Corbet, it's the latter's icy cold portrayal of this psychopath that garners the attention. Simon is a psychopath, but he's not what we expect - he's also weak, needy and cowardly and it's a refreshing take.
here's a lot to like here but it's just a shame it runs out of steam.
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