Knife + Heart
If there is one thing to say of Knife + Heart, it’s that the film is unapologetic. In its content, its tone and its style, there is little left to the imagination: from the outset in the form of a graphic murder to the climatic existential and purgatorial sequence, confusion as to what Yann Gonzalez was hoping to achieve with his artistic message is absolutely absent.
The feature is undoubtedly impenitent. And this also makes it powerful in a sense. Much of this relies on the lead, Vanessa Paradis, who portrays Anne, a successful and ruthless gay porn producer searching for her next big production amidst a traumatic period in which a murderer is targeting homosexual pornstars.
Paradis is, for the most part, strong. She rises to the portrayal of Anne’s internal battle, her substance abuse and broken heart, the subtleties of this suffering being where she is most prevalent. But in the moments where more is expected and emotion is overly complex, it appears Paradis has lots to learn as an actress, failing to understand the concept of less is more. Consistency is what she lacks, though it is still far from a failed performance.
Anne’s controversial project of recreating the murders within her productions is a clever plot aspect and develops Knife + Heart well. The murders are intricately thought through, serving the story just as fiercely. There are few weaknesses apparent throughout the film.
That said, it is also hard to pick out the strengths, and the result can only be a mediocre film that doesn’t surprise or wow. In a “whodunnit”/slasher film that never really satisfies either of those genre’s stereotypes, Gonzalez doesn’t lack plot surprises, but rather sufficient development of the shocks provided and the progression of a solid conclusion.
What you come away with most is the need to hear another flawless M83 film soundtrack.
Knife + Heart is released in select cinemas on 5th July 2019.
Watch the trailer for Knife + Heart here: