Film Review: Simon Killer

I can’t remember how I heard about Simon Killer, or exactly why I decided it was a movie I wanted to watch. I am certain, however, that the movie I was expecting had no correlation to the movie I got. It’s been a long time since I was treated to something as detestable as I found this, but hey it happens , you just have to put it down to annoying experience and move on.

Essentially this film is 100 minutes of soft porn, no plot and a main character so dislikeable, that I was routing throughout large portions of the film for somebody to smash him in the face with a baseball bat. And for me to wish a fictional character a violent and painful comeuppance, proves just how far from seeing eye to eye this film and myself are.

Mati Diop & Brady Corbet - Simon Killer

It is actually slightly annoying that it has stirred up such hateful emotions because for all the hostility I have towards this film, and there is a lot, there is one redeeming feature, it’s actors. The supporting cast of Mati Diop and Constance Rousseau bring a withdrawn charm and compassion to their respective roles that somehow allows you to warm and almost care about them. Heightening the sense of hatred I felt for the leading man – Simon – played by Brady Corbet.

And it’s Corbet that has torn me so much apart with this film. His character is nasty, manipulative; disgusting; pathetic; you can go on and on and on with adjective and hyperbole till your heart’s content to describe the repulsiveness of the man before you on screen. But it’s Corbet’s performance that allows this. I hate the character so much, but acknowledge the skill of Corbet to bring to life such strong emotions and responses. I really don’t want to like it, but you just have to because, however, detestable he is, it’s a stunning leading turn.

Once, however, you have got past the performances and look at the bigger picture of the film, I just found everything falling further and harder apart. I truly hated it. It’s graphically sexual, easily bordering on the pornographic at times and while there is nothing wrong with pornography in a civilised society, I wanted to watch a film. Something that makes me think, laugh, cry or question. Not a prostitute performing anal penetration with her thumb, real or not. And I certainly don’t need this to be the go to bridge used to fill the breaks in the non existent story’s timeline.

I can honestly say, the last time a film used sexual intercourse in such a visually descriptive way that it left me this uncomfortable was Shame.

Constance Rousseau & Brady Corbet - Simon Killer

Moving past the intercourse and on to the wider story, nothing makes any sense what so ever. The actions are simplistically laid out, you can easily see what the characters are up to but you can’t reason why. Nothing ever truly makes sense. You never feel like you really know anybody. You never really understand why they do what they do, agree to what they say or accept the actions around them. I just couldn’t believe anyone would do what they do. Again, though, you have to go back to Corbet’s character Simon to even try and get a handle on this film. Because it’s Simon that hold the key to it all and when you have nothing more than a sense of wishing the man physical pain, it’s hard to really engross yourself in the film. Or believe in the story.

I just found his character so far removed from me, my personality, from how I believe people should act, from what I think is right and wrong. He is everything I hate and cannot stand. He is that arrogant, fake, emotionally void a******e we all know who talks the talk, walks the walk and somehow manages to entangle everyone in a web his lies, his way of thinking, ready to lash out at the first sign there is somebody morally stronger than them or prepared to say no. Like I said, we all know them, and we all hate them. **** ****** I’m looking at you!

I truly hated this film, almost to beyond description. And I am so glad I didn’t watch it with anyone else, because uncomfortable wouldn’t be a strong enough word to explain how that would have felt. Even worse though, is that probably because I hated it so much, it seemed to drag and drag, going on and on, ramping up my hatred and repulsion of the world and character is centres on, seemingly egging me on emotional more and more. Poking and prodding me. Constantly demands one more line, one last word. Never stopping until it gets a reaction.

I just want it out my life.

5 out of 10 stars (5 / 10)

Posted on by 5WC in Film First Edition

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