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Anna M.
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Anna M. – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Anna (Carré) is an attractive but insecure and desperately unhappy young book-binder. In a moment of depression, she throws herself in front of a speeding car, but she can’t even do that right.
She wakes up in hospital, with little more than a damaged leg, her life almost certainly saved by her dashing doctor André (Melki).
Perhaps not surprisingly, she develops a little crush on her doctor, but as time progresses, that harmless little crush develops into a desperately unhealthy obsession, until it gets dangerously out of control.
She has convinced herself that he’s her lover and can’t understand why he won’t leave his wife.
She gets a job, babysitting his neighbours’ children, to get access to his apartment building.
A crescendo slowly builds up until her jealous rage starts to manifest itself in violence, in this chilling, psychological drama.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

The film teeters of the brink of being a thriller, but it never quite becomes thrilling enough. Just when you think she’s going to go completely “Fatal Attraction” on us, she seems to stop short, making it more of a character study of a drama than a gripping thriller.
It doesn’t seem to have the courage of its convictions, getting you holding your breath and clinging to the seat, but then not following through – she never goes quite as mad as you think she could or should.
You grit your teeth in expectation of blood – but instead, you get cough syrup.
That’s not to undermine the tension, which is ratcheted up perhaps more tightly than any film so far this year – you just feel cheated at each turn.
There’s no denying that the two key performances are effective – Carré in particular is certainly destined for big things, based on her complex turn here. Arguably, she could be the next Audrey Tautou.
And oddly, the plot here is strangely similar to one of the earlier films of her predecessor – in “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not,” Tautou played a woman convinced that a married man was in love with her. But the earlier film had a more interesting and original approach to the narrative.
And the inevitable denouement – thank you for not going for the “Hollywood ending” – is rather too drawn out – once we get the message, it would’ve been helpful if it just stopped.
In some senses the film-makers go too far, in other senses they don’t go far enough. The film is satisfying, but nothing like as satisfying as it could or should be.

opens nationwide 16th November 2007

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