If a relative dies suddenly, you want answers. If they die quickly of an ailment that you also possess, then you’ll want them even more to help you prevent the same fate.
That’s a simple enough starting point. Seeking answers for her brother Lewis’s untimely death, Maureen (Kristen S
tewart) heads to Paris and becomes a personal shopper to a socialite to afford the rent, while periodically going to where he used to live to try and reconnect with him.
One thing to note: Maureen is a medium. So was her brother. And they promised they’d contact the other when they die to give the other peace.
When, after three months she finds nothing, Maureen starts to get fed up. Even of her new life travelling around Europe and picking up expensive things for her employer, who she barely sees.
Then she starts getting text messages from someone, and spends a lot of time on her phone. Then other stuff starts happening and it gets complicated.
This is the part where I stop explaining what happens in the movie because a)spoilers, and b) I don’t know how to accurately explain what the hell happens next.
This film is not a horror film. Or a thriller. Or a drama. Maybe melodrama? Foreign cinema? I don’t actually know. Personal Shopper doesn’t know what it wants to be – and it’s REALLY difficult to get behind a film that didn’t know this one basic thing.
Just like Lewis, it follows a certain path and then the story will just die with little to no explanation in this film. The bad guy in this film is obvious, and that’s coming from someone who avoids guessing these things.
It does however, work as an effective advert for Apple, with it’s product placement as subtle as a brick- for example the forty minute long segment where we just watch Kristen Stewart text and staring at the screen right along with her.
There is also no reason whatsoever why this film is spread across FOUR different cities and countries. It’s ALMOST like someone created the film with the sole purpose to go around Europe with a celebrity actress for a month or two.
And when they realise they’re losing the point of the plot or the audience, BOOM!- They’ll throw some boobs or a masturbation scene in there to bring them back.
By the time the film edged closer to the end of its running time, it also opted in to what I lovingly refer to as “The Lord of the Rings Mentality” – which is essentially, that you can never have too many endings. Instead of rounding off the story at its logical closure point (and through all the confusion, there definitely is one), it decided instead to just simply … keep on going. But instead of just tying up loose ends, it just creates more.
I feel for Kristen Stewart. I firmly believe she is a really talented actor, with an exceedingly brilliant ability to pick the wrong films. It must be hard to shake off Twilight completely, and I think her desire to be taken seriously as a result of that has pushed her into some seriously dud films in the name of finding credibility.
This is another one of those films to add to the list, sadly.
Personal Shopper hits cinema March 17.
You can watch the trailer here: