N A V I
G A T E

Home
A Brief Introduction
Years in Review
Films Ranked: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
Current Criticism
Search Criticism
Past Criticism
Top 10 Lists
Notable Short Films
Links
Contact Me

Nocturama

Director:  Bertrand Bonello
Year Released:  2016
Rating:  3.0

Several young Parisians pace around the city, walking here, taking the subway there, planning a series of bombings - after the explosions go off, they hide inside a department store before the police (inevitably) close in on their whereabouts. The pacing to this is undeniably hypnotic and entrancing - the kids don't say much, but you know they're up to no good - and Bonello sprinkles in some neat little details - the suicide note ("autopsy me"), the lip-syncing of Shirley Bassey's take on Sinatra's "My Way" by a Muslim wearing make-up, the characters dressed in the same clothes as the mannequins - but I couldn't quite shake the question of 'what's their motive?': say what you will about ISIS/ISIL/WAS-WAS, at least you understand they despise Western Society. So what's the deal? Is it ennui that morphed into rage? Do they simply hate capitalism (yet ironically enjoy designer clothing when it's "free")? Are they all disturbed (or just a few)? As soon as the authorities with machine guns show up, these "Enemies of the State" are really easy to mow down (they have no idea how to defend themselves) - the last words in the movie are "Help me," yet no form of assistance is offered. It's a chilling think-piece about Our Youth ... if a smidge too ambiguous.

Return to the Previous Page

© Copyright 2018 Matthew Lotti.