Monday, May 22, 2023

The Other Laurens (2023) Cannes 2023

The niece of a private detective asks him to investigate the death of her father, his estranged and rich twin brother. He supposedly died in a drunken car crash but the girl insists that her father had given up drinking. Getting to the house he finds things are odd with his American wife, bikers and assorted unsavory people wandering around.

Good looking off kilter thriller is a cinematic ride that is going to keep you guessing about what is going on to the very end. That last statement I mean in both a good way and a bad way. I mean it in a good way because this multilayer thriller has a lot going on. There is so much going on regarding the mystery and the themes the film is exploring beyond that that it takes a good chunk of the film before things begin to come together. The problem is that by the time the end credits roll I’m not sure they’ve explained everything. When I got to the end I wanted to watch the film again because I felt like I had missed something.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure there is enough there to make it worth a second viewing. While I enjoyed the ride, I didn’t care about the destination.  I don’t think I was really satisfied at the end.  Part of it was some of the digressions along the way specifically the speeches, and thematic explorations of who we are/rich vs poor really never lead anywhere. I also don’t like the way the film works overtime making things obscure for our hero only to give us a just okay resolution. Much of my dislike is how people speak in ways that people really don’t. It might just be the subtitles but at the same time some of the English dialog feels artificial as if it was written by someone who can speak American English but not in a way that Americans actually speak.

Forgive me if this review seems more negative that it should. There is so much in OTHER LAUREN I like, say what you will it has style to burn, and it made me really lean in and want to see where it was going, but I am really disappointed it didn’t stick the landing.

Reservation aside if you want to take a really good cinematic ride whose parts are better than the whole give this is a shot.

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