Happy whatever day it is, I finally got to the movie I wanted to watch for a while now, “Personal Shopper”. Now watch out, there are some serious spoilers ahead so if you haven’t watched it yet please do, and comeback later.
Done? Ok let’s go then!
Mysterious ghosts, who can resist that, I must confess, I am a sucker for a ghost story, and this one, well, there are some points that the public is seriously dispersed about. Some love it, some hate it, for various reasons,
The plot line itself is not simple, that is a fact, and there are moments where we are just left hanging, without an answer to so many questions, and they still keep lingering after the movie ends. Bottom line, if you need clarity after you watch a movie, well, no luck here I guess.
Maureen, the character portrayed by Kristen Stewart is a medium who lives in Paris after the death of her brother, waiting for some kind of a sign from him, and in the meantime works as a personal shopper for a tedious and mean woman that does not for some reason let her try on the clothes she hunts out( she might have some issues with her boundaries).
The fashion factor, plays also an important role here, even if by the title of the movie you were wrongly convinced that it will be exclusively about that, it is the “forbidden fruit” so to say. The main character is spending most of the movie running errands across Paris an London, picking up Cartier and Chanel items for her boss, but for her, they are desired just because she can’t have them, at least that is what I got from it. She has access to this world of luxury and expensive shoes that she can touch but can not have. The point is not to have these things and run around with her friends at parties and photo-shoots, it’s actually becoming someone else. Not just wearing Kyra’s (her boss’s) shoes, but sleeping in her bed, dressing up in her wardrobe, looking in her mirror.
I already wrote several times about the possibility the clothes give us to become someone else, and in the movie, this is certainly taken to extremes, combined with the temptation that the the ghost or someone else is dragging her into via text messages, she is falling into it, however there is a complete uncertainty about what follows up. Olivier Assayas who already worked with Stewart is leaving a trail of frustration, at least for me, as there is lot of obscurity and no definite answers, so all that is left is to wonder, or decide for yourselves the true answer. There is no one direct angle, as the plot lines are interconnecting in a way that actually brings up confusion, but it is, as many have said, Kristen Stewarts’ best performance, I must say I have to agree on that.
I think that we also have to agree on the fact that Stewart brings herself into her roles, rater than creates a character from scratch, I think that her closeness to Maureen that we see on the screen is also an exploration of it, the temptations, the loneliness, the grief and the longing for her lost brother, who died from an inborn heart issue, (that FYI she also has) is in constant tangle with the the possibility of her own sudden death.
Death is explored in parallel with the lonely life she is leading, so bluntly accentuated by the many scenes spent commuting, which for me personally is the most tedious activity one can ever experience, which is the best example of being in complete isolation while surrounded by people. Maureen is grieving, and searching for any slight contact with her brother, and that is why she spends those nights alone in his house, instead of letting him go, and at the end, deciding to follow her boyfriend, (who we only see on the screen via Skype) going far away from the city.
I think it is something we all long to from time to time, in search of a fresh start or some perspective on our lives. Traveling to a middle of nowhere destination, trying to recharge, however she is still followed by something/someone, and there is (again) no clear answer whether it is her brother or not. It might be a metaphor for the fact that wherever we go our past follows, and there is actually no such thing as fresh start, her last words before the screen goes dark are, while talking to the “ghost” using Hemingway’s’ method(one knock means yes, two means no) “Is this you, or is it me?”, can it be that everything that happened was in her own head after all?
That’s all folks, let me know what you thought about the movie,