Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Invader (2011) Film Review
Reviewed by: Scott Macdonald
Amadou (Issaca Sawadogo) is an illegal immigrant in Brussels. An earnest, hard-working man ("I work enough for two," he complains - and we believe him!), he is concerned when his friend Siaku becomes ill and is thrown out. He visits the crime boss who trafficked him to Brussels, and storms out in justified rage.
The film initially builds sympathy for the charismatic Amadou, but upon surreptitiously meeting Agnes, a wealthy well-to-do real estate developer, Amadou becomes obsessed. Director Nicolas Provost skilfully recasts Brussels as an urban cesspit in the vein of Little Italy in early Scorsese works. His expert use of 2.35:1 widescreen casts Sawadogo as a man brutally alone against the glass and steel world. As Amadou's obsession with Agnes rises to a head, one can easily imagine Travis Bickle slipping carefully into Sawadogo's boots as they stalk the beautiful blonde.
It's a potent, revealing performance which is sadly wasted in a story without impulse or direction. The arresting and lengthy opening sequence (immigrants, including Amadou, wash up on a nudist beach) buys time, but the film does not deliver on its forward momentum. Each scene, while solid, clear and interesting in itself, lacks the scripting and storytelling drive to keep it moving. As a result, the film feels overlong, underwritten, purposeless and often mystifying.
It's a pity. With stronger handling of the story, there's a superior thriller to be had here. Provost will make better films - with better stories. He's far too talented a director to remain in unfocused festival fodder for long.Reviewed on: 19 Jun 2012