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<em>L'Autre Monde</em>, released in English-speaking countries as <em>Black Heaven</em>, seems like exactly the kind of movie I would dig. It's the second feature from writer Gilles Marchand (his first was 2003's <em>Qui a Tué Bambi?</em>, which got all the appropriate press and a few award nominations). It features a bunch of young and very beautiful folks, some of whom are computer geeks. It features some exceptionally well-done computer-rendered sequences (approximately a quarter of the movie takes place in a Second Life-style world known as Black Hole). It's a thriller that's striving to be <em>noir</em> without ever quite getting there. All of these are things I treasure in movies. And yet... and yet.
Plot: Gaspard (<em>Army of Crime</em>'s Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, who's just made for movie stardom--he looks like the angelic offspring of Ryan Gosling and Ben Affleck) and his new girlfriend Marion (<em>Private Lessons</em>' Pauline Etienne), while cruising around on the Vespa looking for secluded places to cuddle, stumble across the path of a mysterious, hooded woman and her companion. (We later find out these two are named Audrey [<em>The Extraordinary Adventures of Adéele Blanc-Sec</em>'s Louise Bourgoin] and Dragon [<em>Romantics Anonymous</em>' Swann Arlaud].) On a whim, they decide to follow the two, and stumble onto what seems to be a suicide pact. Dragon is already dead, but Gaspard breaks into the car that's filling with carbon monoxide and pulls Audrey out, saving her life. This leads to him discovering what would seem to be her obsession with Black Hole, the alternate world where she met Dragon.Read more ›
Here's the scoop. Four friends, three guys and a girl, live on an idyllic Island in Southern France. One of the guys and the girl are developing a deepening relationship. One night they come across a couple trying to asphyxiate themselves in a car. They rescue the girl. The guy dies. Our hero pockets a camera the couple was using to record the suicide. Through repeated viewings of the video he becomes intrigued by the surviving woman and wants to get next to her. He stalks her through an on-line game while doing what he can to befriend her in the real world. Her brother will prove to be an obstacle.
There are a few things going on here. First is the relationship with the four friends and how it changes as the two become romantically involved, and later as the guy gravitates toward the new, mysterious girl. Then there's this woman's involvement in the on-line game. This is a weird place. It's always night and it's always snowing. It's dark and brooding. Like a night spot for the darker side of the human consciousness. Then there's his increasing fascination with her, the deteriorating relationship with his girlfriend and buddies, and finally the trap that's been set for him.
The problem is that none of this builds well enough. I have to say the problem is at the script level. There was plenty of time to work these things into the story. The writer just failed to do so. It all needed to be much tighter. It looks good. The game scenes had an interesting design. It's acted and shot well and the music was good. The story just didn't develop well enough.
This isn't at all a bad movie by any means. I just wouldn't put it at the top of my viewing list.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A silly film. The lead actress not as lovely as in Girl from MontecarloPublished 17 months ago by miguel urrutia
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Since Amazon couldn't be bothered with an actual synopsis, I got this from IFC's website. [...]
A breakout selection of the midnight section of Cannes in 2010, BLACK... Read more
Black Heaven is a film about the blurred lines between reality and virtual reality. The concept is exciting with great potential, but Gilles Marchand missed the mark with... Read morePublished on May 25, 2011 by Dan Lebryk
Silly movie that is not a Cyber Thriller, not anything close to a Cyber Mystery and hardly a Sci-Fi. The entire 105 minutes is fluff. Read morePublished on April 17, 2011 by Olaf Johnson