Review: call ami (2011)

Call Ami (2011)

Directed by: Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod | 105 minutes | drama | Actors: Robert Pattinson, Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Natalia Tena, Colm Meaney, Holliday Grainger, Philip Glenister, Paul Hodge, James Lance, Pip Torrens, Todd Peterson, Jake Harders, Ceri Jerome, Arthur Gourounlian

Robert Pattinson is in a tricky situation. On the one hand, the roles are free to choose, but typecasting is lurking, and it is important for the actor to quickly break free from the ‘Twilight’ hype before he is definitively written off by the serious cinema audience. Just like Daniel Radcliffe did after Harry Potter, Pattinson looks for deviant films. ‘Bel ami’, an intrigue drama set in France with a lot of sultry looks, might not be the best choice. Because while there is certainly room for Pattinson to act, we see him visibly struggling with his role.

The movie is Pattinson before and Pattinson after. From the moment he first comes into the picture – after a sloppy ten seconds – to a sometimes tiring two hours later, he has to carry the film, and that turns out to be a heavy burden. If directors Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod had had a little more compassion for the young star, strong supporting actors Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas would have given more space and time to save the film. Now all the intrigue the characters get caught up in becomes difficult to understand, because all the attention is focused on Pattinson and who is not the most important figure in the political web.

Based on the historical novel by Guy de Maupassant, Donnellan and Ormerod present a decent costume drama at times, but it doesn’t want to be really exciting, dramatic or erotic. Even though Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci and Kristin Scott Thomas try so hard with their swooning looks and there’s still so much bottom lip biting; the screenplay and direction lack the refined elaboration that Pattinson needs. Supplemented with the not always appropriate music by Rachel Portman, some strange sex scenes and the often very clichéd decors, ‘Bel ami’ scores below average for anyone who does not dream away from Pattinson.

Comments are closed.