True Love Ways: I kidnapped her because she was mine
by Jon Arozamena
- The German film by Swiss director Mathieu Seiler revisits the figures of the revenge killer and the femme fatale in competition at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival
True Love Ways [+see also:
film profile], the German film by Swiss director Mathieu Seiler, was among the titles that had the honour of firing the starting pistol for the international competition of the 33rd edition of the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF), which got under way last week and will wrap up on 19 April.
The movie follows the story of a young woman (Anna Hausburg) who is haunted by a disturbing recurring dream and therefore decides to take a break for a few days, far away from her boyfriend, Tom. However, Tom (Kai Michael Müller) does not seem completely happy with this idea and, in a Hitchcockian twist in the plot, partners up with a stranger who offers to organise a faked kidnapping, which should serve to turn him into the heroic saviour of the damsel in distress.
With a clear homage to the aesthetics of the Nouvelle Vague, which is built upon by a certain hint of early Polanski, the film leaves a real impression, firstly, thanks to its imposing black-and-white cinematography, and then captivates you with its impeccable transition from an initially intimate portrait of a couple in crisis to a macabre cat-and-mouse chase, in which the hunted is a young woman who “dared” to abandon her boyfriend for a few days and the hunters are a group of fairly unscrupulous men in black who have a depraved penchant for gore.
The violence and blood continue to swell as the sweet (?) Severine (did someone mention Buñuel’s Belle de Jour?) becomes aware of the threats looming over her, and she then acts accordingly (bloodthirstily). Never abandoning the sensual tone that pervades the feature's entire running time, Seiler pushes the only seemingly naive Severine to reinvent herself, axe in hand, as a carbon copy of a ruthless revenge killer.
The film, produced by Grand Hôtel Pictures, Klusfilm Berlin and ARRI Film & TV Services, manages to successfully retain an intriguing aura of mystery despite not at all shying away from the use of occasionally grotesque humour; these two elements ensure, both for viewers familiar with the genre and for those who are not, a more than enjoyable entertainment experience, in addition to a suggestive and highly original take on the classic legend of the fool and the (deadly) femme fatale.
(Translated from Spanish)