Black Heaven (aka L'autre monde) review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
L’Autre Monde is a French language film from the director of Who Killed Bambi? Which was a tense and graceful thriller made in 2003.
L’Autre Monde is a thriller that takes place both in warm sandy planes of the South coast of France and a dark and intriguing cyber world called Black Hole. The movie begins innocently enough with a couple’s discovery of a lost mobile phone which is inundated with messages from a “Dragon”. The couple, played by Gregoire Leprince-Ringue and Pauline Etienne find the owner of the phone, and her associate Dragon, attempting to commit suicide.
This discovery leads to Ringue’s character, Gaspard, becoming infatuated with the girl, Sam played by French beauty Louise Bourgoin, and eventually following her into a strange and dark online world.
The movie begins very well and the story is enticing and provocative, and the sensual and seductive air of theme runs throughout its 105 minutes. However after about seventy minutes you find yourself realizing that this isn’t one of those movies where nothing really happens but rather that simply nothing interesting is happening. Unlike many European and indie films, which are notorious for being about characters and relationships and emotion that involve very little action or drama or even narrative, Black Heaven has drama and suspense and a solid narrative, it just isn’t played out very well.
There are, in places, inconsistencies in the strength of the narrative where interesting and intriguing plot points or vital clues are ignored or abandoned, leaving the film to rest solely upon the semi naked shoulders of Bourgoin. This is a real shame because the movie is full of promise and intrigue and could have been something really interesting that utilized the modern culture’s obsession with identity and isolation, but it falls flat less than an hour in.