TIFF 2016 Review: ‘Personal Shopper’

TIFF 2016 Review: Personal Shopper

Wow. Just wow. Personal Shopper, starring Kristen Stewart is thought-provoking and intense. It tells the story of Maureen, a medium and personal shopper looking to get closure after her brother’s death. WhIle the film has an incredible story and vision, what carries it is a stellar performance by Kristen Stewart. She seems desperately lost and struggling with so much inner conflict. Stuck in a job she hates, she only wants to stay in Paris to be able to attempt to make contact with her deceased brother, Lewis.

From the beginning, the film sets up a very specific tone. It is very clear that it is not your typical drama. There is definitely a bit of the fantastical in there. There are scenes that show an apparition that are really well done. In the age of CGI, so many things can be overdone. This was perfect, understated, and subtle. The sounds in the film along with the music help create an atmosphere that gives you a suspension of disbelief and also of fear.

There are so many layers to the film. In ways, this film can be terrifying but also really is a film about coping and loss. I can relate way too closely to the feeling of loss and devastation with the loss of my younger brother. The film resonated with me and the multitude of emotions that you feel trying to cope. I really appreciated the honesty in the film and Kristen Stewart’s performances.

The end of the film is one that I think a lot of people will view differently. Even in our theater, we spoke to people with varied opinions. I think with a story that can be so personal to people, it is wonderful to give an ending with an open interpretation. It allows the audience to have the ending that their personal journey, while watching this film, needs. Olivier Assayas has created an extraordinary film that begs to be watched and analyzed and rewatched again.

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