Rosalie Blum

The Stalker Stalked

April 6, 2016By Heidi EllisonFilm
Vincent (Kyan Khojandi) keeps a close eye on Rosalie Blum.

Rosalie Blum, the directorial debut of screenwriter Julien Rappeneau, is a feel-good film in the tradition of Amélie, with its quirky storyline and many twists and turns of plot.

Those twists and turns make it difficult to write about it without spoiling the viewer’s fun by giving them away, so I will give only a rudimentary plot summary here.

Vincent (Kyan Khojandi) is a sweet, mild-mannered 30-something hairdresser living in the small French city of Nevers. His verbally abusive, demanding, slightly dotty mother lives in the apartment above his and makes his life miserable while he waits to hear from his uncommunicative long-distance girlfriend.

One day, while running an errand for his mother, he buys something from a middle-aged grocer (Rosalie Blum, played by Noémie Lvovsky). Sure that he has seen her before, he becomes strangely obsessed with her and begins to follow her everywhere. The suspense builds as his stalking begins to make us uncomfortable, and we wonder where it will all end.

In the meantime, we meet another key character, the 25-year-old Aude (Alice Isaaz), who doesn’t know what to do with her life and spends most of her time sleeping or drifting around with her friends. When her aunt Rosalie asks her to stalk the man who is stalking her, Aude’s life suddenly takes on purpose as she and her friends turn into amateur detectives.

I’ll leave it there. The story, based on a graphic novel of the same name by Camille Jourdy, is completely absorbing throughout the film. While perhaps not a masterpiece, it is a thoroughly enjoyable romp that kills the time pleasantly while avoiding the most of the ho-hum tropes of formulaic romcoms. The acting is admirable all around.

My only complaint is about the ending, which I won’t give away. Suffice it to say that any viewers with a feminist bone in their body will be annoyed by one aspect of the dénouement.



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