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  • Writer's pictureBen Turner

Down In Paris *

Starring: Antony Hickling, Jean-Christophe Bouvet, Dominique Frot, Manuel Blanc

Director: Antony Hickling

Country: France

When a British filmmaker (director and star Hickling) has a panic attack on set, he quits his role and heads out onto the streets of Paris for a night of unusual and soul-defining encounters over the course of a single night. From past flames to kindly strangers, over-zealous nuns to a prostitute with a heart, these rendezvouses will send him on an emotional journey and open his eyes for the dawning of a new day in his life.

A conceptual film with issues in its realisation, the narrative is bogged down with an over-flawed protagonist who is difficult to like. A broken man, his selfish introspection is pretty damn irritating and, with the film revolving around this, that doesn’t bode well for a story without a plot. Resting heavily on the diversity of each vignette, we do meet a plethora of interesting and compelling figures, but with our lead serving as the glue pulling them together, we have a roast dinner that’s all trimmings and no meat.

Theo & Hugo trod similar territory to Down In Paris - especially with its later sex-club scenes - but with Freudian odyssey at its centre instead of a romance, the latter fails everywhere that the former succeeded. Trite, pretentious and difficult, this is a director desperately trying to find meaning where there is none to be found.

UK Release: Out now on VOD on Dekkoo, released by TLA Releasing


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