Brady Corbet plays Simon, a recent university graduate full of promise and potential, who goes to Paris to begin a trip around Europe following a break-up with a long-time girlfriend. An outsider adrift upon a profound sense of loss, Simon takes solace in the company of Victoria (Mati Diop), a beautiful, young, and mysterious prostitute - and their fateful journey begins...
With a rather misleading title Simon Killer is the story of recent university science graduate Simon who, after a bad break up, flees to Paris to comfort himself. Don’t begin to feel sorry for him though as this rich boy gone bad story sees a potentially damaged by loveable character turned into a slightly psychotic misogynist.
Living temporarily in the uxorious apartment of a family friend Simon trawls the streets of Paris trying to pick up women in his poor broken French; eventually he stumbles into a brothel where he meets Victoria the “hooker with a heart of gold” stereotype that was played so sickeningly in Pretty Woman some twenty years ago. Rather than providing Simon with salvation however Victoria finds herself used and manipulated by the boy who sees her and all women in fact, as nothing but sex objects.
Though the movie, the second feature by director Antonio Campos (Afterschool), has some real potential and is played with that cool indie edge that so many film makers strive for, the story is considerably lacking in weight, emotional and drive. Simon is thoroughly unpleasant, but that is about all the knowledge we gleam of him; the reason for his break-up becomes abundantly clear and yet one struggles to see the core drive behind his damaged behaviour – rather than explore why he is as he is Campos simply accepts that he is and moves forward with a disappointing display of actions rather than understanding.
Couple this with the head achingly over used shots of the characters from behind, where Brady Corbet’s (star and writer) back is positioned outside an out of focus background, that one supposes are to indicate his isolation but instead seem pointless and alienating, Simon Killer becomes increasingly hard to sit through.