Ne Te Retourne Pas (Don't Look Back) (2009)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Not to be confused with the legendary D.A. Pennebaker documentary of the same name, this mind-bending psychological drama from France stars Sophie Marceau as Jeanne, a fairly well-adjusted wife, mother of two children, and author whose world gets turned upside down when she becomes aware of a calamitous transformation overtaking her own body. She quickly morphs into an Italian woman, also named Jeanne (Monica Bellucci); the latter's husband (like the first Jeanne's spouse) is named Teo (Thierry Neuvic). Understandably confounded and disoriented, Jeanne 1 sets out to solve the mystery of this metamorphosis by journeying to Jeanne 2's birthplace of Lecce, Italy. … More
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Critic Reviews for Ne Te Retourne Pas (Don't Look Back)
Don't Look Back leans hard on a conventionally atonal musical score and cheap shock cuts, as well as some dubious special effects.
"Don't Look Back" begins promisingly. Seemingly obsessed with surfaces, the camera restlessly searches for hints and clues among the fragments we see, even before we know there's a mystery.
...feels as though it were pulled out of David Lynch's pile of (justifiably) rejected screenplays.
Anyone expecting more than the pleasure of seeing two of Europe's most ravishing actresses, Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci, sharing the same scene ... should brace for disappointment
There are two wonderful performances to savor here, but the film itself doesn't hold much of a lasting impact despite a convincing parade of hysteria.
Audience Reviews for Ne Te Retourne Pas (Don't Look Back)
"I don't recognize anything. Not even my own face."
Don't Look Back isn't an easy movie to wrap my thoughts around and review, and unfortunately, it also wasn't very appealing. Despite the irresistible presence of Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci, I found it hard to finish this movie. That's quite an accomplishment, now that I think about it.
What we have here is an effort to communicate the perspective of a woman whose home, family, and very appearance seem to be (literally and drastically) changing before her eyes. It confuses her, and I can virtually guarantee that it will confuse you, too. Don't Look Back is not a challenging movie (I'm guessing that's the intent with which it was created), it's a nonsensical one.
There's a definite attempt here to make a psychological thriller in the mold of Polanski's Repulsion mixed with a hefty serving of Lynch-style weirdness and mystery, but it's not grounded in anything substantial, captivatingly surreal, atmospheric, or ultimately human. At best, it's this movie is based on a potentially good idea run horribly amok. At worst, it's an overly long train-wreck with no point that unfortunately squanders two stunning and talented actresses. Aside from one of two interesting sequences, Don't Look Back isn't worth the trouble or the frustration.
A French writer loses her ability to recognize her surroundings; her apartment becomes unfamiliar, her husband looks like a stranger, and eventually even the face she sees in the mirror is another woman's, until she follows a clue in a photograph and discovers a secret about her own identity. This psychological mystery is a bit slow moving and the movie lays on the horror music cues a bit too thick, but Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci give wonderful performances as the same woman in two different bodies.
Marina de Van's Ne Te Retourne Pas comes in the form of a mystery drama with some intrigue.At an hour and 45 minutes, Ne Te Retourne Pas is a tale of two halves. The first half moves along rather slowly, although the sense of secrecy and ambiguity with the plot is really high. This seizes the audience in, while providing little setup and leaving answers few and far in between. The camerawork and musical score also do wonders in this portion.The second half is all about finding answers, as at this point, the visually amusing character transformation is complete. The mysterious feel of the picture diminishes, but the interest level picks up.Both European beauties, Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci, successfully carry their portion of the film, while playing the same character. As one disappears, another shows up. Marceau fulfills the first act and Bellucci the second.Patience is a key to unraveling the story of Ne Te Retourne Pas. Is it worth it? Take a chance and Don't Look Back.
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