Eye For Film >> Movies >> Maelstrom (2000) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
Nervous breakdowns are not entertaining. Bibi (Marie-Josee Croze) is on the edge. She suffers the symptoms, without toppling over. In other words, she's depressed. Suicidal comes later.
She's successful, attractive, 30-ish and independent, running a fashion boutique business in Quebec for her brother who wants to sack her for poor results during her unfocused phase (still going on). Her sex life languishes on a plateau, where desire dies of neglect. The film opens during an abortion. It sets the mood.
Fish, Norway and guilt are in some way important. Writer/director Denis Villeneuve uses talking fish as the narrative voice for reasons that remain a mystery. Bibi's journey from empty to less empty carries a kernel of hope after the unlikely liaison with a deep sea diver (Jean-Nicolas Verreault) provides an excuse for staying alive one more day.
Villeneuve's award-winning work with video ensures that arty camera angles are not forgotten. The confusion of Bibi's life is reflected in the rain-wet streets of the city at night. Water has symbolic meaning, as does the killing of fish. There is a message in the bottle. It reads: "Fooled you."Reviewed on: 19 Dec 2001
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