Thursday, March 23, 2023

Five Devils (2022) opens this week in New York, plays MAKE BELIEVE SEATTLE this weekend and the Overlook FIlm Festival next week

Young Vicky has a supernatural sense of smell. She can smell anything. She makes jars full of smalls that bring back memory. When her aunt returns to town it sets the already tense relationship between her parents on edge. Things become complicated when her aunt brings with her something that sends Vicky back in time to around the time all of the tension started.

Intriguing science fiction or magical realism tinged tale is mostly a kick in the pants. Setting up all sorts of intriguing plot threads we end up hooked early as we want to know what is going on and where this is going.  For most of its running time FIVE DEVILS is its own wonderful beast brough to life by a killer cast (Adèle Exarchopoulos, Moustapha Mbengue, Swala Emati and in a star making debut Sally Dramé) who make it all perfectly believable. More importantly while the films wrestles with the big themes of homophobia and racism, the film never loses sight of the human tale and the emotion between the complicated triangle of adults is never lost.

If the film has any real flaw it’s that it doesn’t quite stick the landing. It’s nothing terrible  but in a film largely unlike  anything else we’ve seen the film suddenly becomes a tad predictable. I would have loved a conclusion that wasn’t one that I had kind of eyed a few minutes from the end.

Quibbles about the ending aside this is a film you’ll want to see, especially for young Ms Drame.

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