Personal Shopper ★★½

At times spooky & at times absorbing but mostly boring, Personal Shopper finds Kristen Stewart in commanding form as she single-handedly steers the whole film past the finish line but the dull pace at which its events unfold fails to generate an interest in what is a silent rumination of loss & grief.

Set in Paris, the story of Personal Shopper follows Maureen who refuses to leave the city until she makes contact with her recently deceased twin brother. Her life becomes more complicated when she receives a series of knowing texts from an unknown number and decides to converse with the mysterious person.

Written & directed by Olivier Assayas, the film exhibits a haunting vibe in its opening moments but it becomes repetitive after a while as we see Maureen doing the same stuff throughout the picture. Although elements of psychological thrillers are evident in the final print, it inclines more towards a simmered down art-house drama.

The camera is always focused on Stewart's character and never leaves her side. Stewart herself contributes with a wonderfully composed performance and the unbearable weight of loss is quite noticeable in the way she plays her part throughout the movie, be it her role as a personal shopper or a medium or a sister who's lost her brother.

On an overall scale, Personal Shopper isn't a film for all. While some will be intrigued by few layers of themes & subtexts that underline its images, others will be put off by its lethargic pace and lack of coherence. For the most part, it feels like what would've sufficed as a short film is stretched to 105 minutes narrative, and far too slow moving at that. Watch it only for Kristen Stewart.

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