Reviewer's Rating 5 out of 5   User Rating 5 out of 5
L'Appartement (1997)

"L'Appartement" is as startling a film as it is seductive. It flirts and teases the viewer with changes in time and settings that form a labyrinth of deception.

To describe director Gilles Mimouni's script and style as confident would serve well were he a film maker of experience. That this should be his debut movie begs another description entirely. Outrageous arrogance might seem closer to the mark, for he is unflinching in perplexing the viewer with pieces of a puzzle that weave their way into the intertwined lives of five people.

At the heart of it lies Max (Vincent Cassel), whose affections are as flighty as the micro skirts that adorn the women he lusts after. He's decided to grow-up and get married. But a chance glimpse of his ultimate love, Lisa, sends him into a spin. He's desperate to track her down and it's this extraordinary whirlwind of lust and surprise that we are thrown into.

It really all boils down to a ridiculous set of circumstances and reckless passion. But Mimouni's trick is to entrance and frustrate the viewer as much as Max. Among the various glimpses into the characters of the movie, some are important and some are not. All these snatches are filmed with a bravura style that seamlessly blends and merges classic camera techniques with consummate skill.

This really is a film that you should immerse yourself in. Mimouni has the answers but rather than serve them in the typical storytelling format, he chooses to show off. And let him. For this is a gorgeously wicked film that tests visceral foreplay to a near unbearable but satisfying climax.

Read a review of the DVD.

End Credits

Director: Gilles Mimouni

Writer: Gilles Mimouni

Stars: Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci, Romane Bohringer, Jean-Phillipe Ecoffey, Sandrine Kibelain

Genre: Thriller, World Cinema

Length: 112 minutes

Cinema: 1997

DVD: 20 November 2000

Country: France

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