Demonlover (2002)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Paranoid Thriller, Erotic Thriller  |   Release Date - Sep 19, 2003 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 129 min.  |   Countries - France  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Todd Kristel

Demonlover starts out as a sharply constructed corporate thriller, but the plot makes less literal sense as it progresses, and eventually the narrative becomes so disjointed that the movie seems almost dreamlike. This may be a deliberate ploy by writer/director Olivier Assayas; the same is probably true for the film's sterile settings, the cold and somewhat decontextualized images of sex and violence, and the moral and emotional emptiness of most of the characters. These filmmaking choices support the apparent message about the desensitization caused by corporate greed and pornography, but they don't provide much to engage the viewers emotionally. Most of the cutthroat characters lack humanity or depth; there are a few moments when Diane de Monx (Connie Nielsen) seems to be concerned about her own well being and some brief hints of Elise Lipsky's (Chloë Sevigny) home life, but only Elaine Si Gibril (Gina Gershon) has enough energy and panache to seem remotely likable. While the movie seems to be making a point about corruption, there's little indication here that the characters had souls to sell in the first place.