Genre: Drama • Thriller
Director: Olivier Assayas
Starring: Connie Nielsen, Charles Berling, Chloë Sevigny, Gina Gershon
Language: English, French, Japanese
Duration: 129 min.
After his former assistant is kidnapped, French businessman Henri-Pierre Volf assigns his new assistant Diane to make a deal with TokyoAnimé , a company at the forefront of three-dimensional adult animation. However, Diane is actually a spy for a rival company. The plot thickens when it comes to light that one of the concerned parties controls an Internet site which broadcasts actual torture.
Demonlover is a film written and directed by French filmmaker Olivier Assayas. It premiered in competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
In the last decade or so, Assayas has emerged as a truly international filmmaker. Mastering a unique style of film that explores the modern world with stories which jump effortlessly between multiple countries using characters who speak several languages. This trend can be seen in many of his recent films including Clean, Boarding Gate, and last year's epic Carlos but it all began with 2002's Demonlover.
It's a stylishly presented high-tech thriller with a complex story starring Connie Nielsen as Diane de Monx, a corporate spy who has worked her way into a French multinational to sabotage a deal with a Japanese firm specializing in 3D hentai. It also stars Charles Berling as Hervé, Diane's unsuspecting colleague; Chloë Sevigny as Elise, an administrative assistant for the firm who clashes with Diane; and Gina Gershon, as a hip American rep with a strong personality.
The first half plays out like a tense espionage thriller with an ever tangled plot, and early on, there is a sequence that goes on at length, showing highly violent and sexually explicit anime and 3D rendered graphics. There is also some terrific acting and intrigue as the characters begin to double cross one another, but the second half devolves into a messy psychological drama that introduces way too many twists and turns while failing to address several plot holes.
Still this is a very fascinating film to watch, with a slick and stunning visual style, filled with Assayas' trademark strong female characters, and a great soundtrack from indie legends Sonic Youth.
— Bonjour Tristesse