Review by Hamish Singh
dir. Robert Morin
True North Productions
The first thing you see when the film starts is a older man in pain. His face completely wrapped in bandages, not saying anything but grunting in agony and misery as the surgeon removes his bandages post-surgery carefully with surgical tweezers. The man had been in a fire, had undergone multiple surgeries, and was frustrated with the little progress his surgeon was making. Frustrated because he believes the plastic surgeon, Dr. Louis Richard, doesn’t care because he couldn’t possibly understand what it feels like to be stared at for being burnt beyond human recognition. The burn victim then proceeds to hold Louis at knife point, and forces him to bandage his own face and walk in public to know the feeling of being stared at like a freak.
At that point in the film, director Robert Morin makes the audience feel sympathy for Louis by showing a situation where he’s been wronged by being held at knife point by a patient. This working professional being taken advantage of and emasculated by a disgruntled patient. This feeling stays with you even as Louis goes home to his lavish home, deep in the nest of an evidently wealthy neighbourhood.
During the course of the film, you see Louis for the narcissistic perfectionist he is. Trembling in anger when he finds out his studious, picture perfect son, is hiding his wardrobe of sneakers and Adidas track pants and listening to explicit French rap music. Enraged when he finds his attractive homemaker wife apply for a job at the library to escape Louis treacherous control of her life. Angry enough to force himself onto her like a ravenous animal.
This film was a true, dark-thriller. Christian Begins’ portrayal a narcissistic plastic surgeon is alarmingly believable. His facial expressions and loss of words in between bouts of disbelief and anger kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next thing that would make him fly off the handle. The cinematography was above average. The directors’ compositions of Christian, made him look small and insignificant to juxtapose his overreactions. Overall, I would strongly recommend this movie to anyone seeking a suspenseful, dark-thriller. It shows the fragile and delicate ego of someone with a prestigious profession, and how someone might look so put together and structured on the outside, but is deeply disturbed and flawed behind closed doors.
The LINK Magazine team had the opportunity to check out a few films during the 2017 Vancouver International Film Festival. Check back here for more reviews and interviews with some of the VIFF filmmakers!