Monday, 22 August 2016

MIFF REVIEW: THE UNKNOWN GIRL





9/10

Jenny is a young doctor with a shiny bright future in front of her. Working at a local GP's practice, one night, she hears a buzz at the front door, but decides not to open because it was late. After all, her practice is not an ambulance service and the streets where her practice is, are full of shady characters… but the girl who had buzzed at her door has been brutally murdered minutes after.

Unable to accept that her decision led to the girl’s death, Jenny becomes obsessed with it, and starts her own investigation. All she wants is to find the dead girl’s name, but unknowingly to herself she approaches too close to uncover the identity of the killer.

The rising star of French cinema Adele Haenel is walking a tight rope in this measured performance of a woman with a strong sense of responsibility.

The absence of a musical score adds a documentary touch to the film. The camera is sort of following Jenny around, making simple daily things, look unsettling.

This lengthy film's run approaches two hours, but it feels like an hour long session. THE UNKNOWN GIRL drags you in from the very first shot and won't let go until the credits roll.

The film avoids Hollywood thriller moves, don’t expect edge of the seat chases and confrontations. But there’s enough life-like tension that compensates for any cinematic thrills.

THE UNKNOWN GIRL is a perfect combination where art-house cinematography meets compelling mystery drama, raising important questions about social injustice in France and how "giving a damn" does go a long way.




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