"Incoherent and Abhorrent French Movie"
What You Need To Know:
ISMAEL’S GHOSTS is often exhausting to watch, encouraging viewers to wish for the end. The scenes are messily strung together in what can hardly be called a realistic storyline. Also, the melodramatic delivery of the lines by the actors is sometimes laughable, further alienating the viewer. ISMAEL’S GHOSTS contains a high amount of questionable content including extreme lewd content, nudity, foul language, and violence. It has a strong Romantic worldview where the characters just act out their various lusts. ISMAEL’S GHOSTS is an unacceptable, abhorrent, incoherent work.
ISMAEL’S GHOSTS is a French drama about a man’s wife who suddenly reappears 21 years after she disappeared without any explanation, which causes much disruption in the lives of those she left behind.
After the disappearance of his wife, Carlotta, 21 years ago, Ismael spends his time by the sea still working on his movie script although it’s already started filming and being with his new lover, Sylvia. Carlotta was declared dead, but the mystery remains regarding where she went. Meanwhile, Ismael tries to convince her father that Carlotta didn’t leave because of their unhappy marriage.
One day, as Sylvia lays out on the beach, a phantom appears out of the blue and announces herself as Carlotta, Ismael’s long-lost wife. In disbelief, Sylvia brings her to Ismael, and he confronts the woman who broke his heart so long ago. Carlotta tells them she left and found comfort in the arms of another man. After he recently died, she no longer had anywhere to live and has now returned back to claim her former husband. As these events transpire, the main character in Ismael’s movie, a spy thriller, also seems to be encountering the same type of hardships, only in a different manner.
Since Carlotta has nowhere to stay and appears homeless, Sylvia offers to let her stay with them. However, after Carlotta openly admits she’s returned to take back her husband, Sylvia feels threatened in her relationship with Ismael and decides to leave him. Turning back to Carlotta for a lustful moment of pleasure, Ismael soon returns to his love for Sylvia and implores her to return to him.
As his movie crew films the script he wrote, Ismael enters into a state of almost pure insanity. He’s seemingly totally nonfunctional without Sylvia. Ismael appears unable to finish the movie. So, his producer comes to his house to try to convince him to return to work. The producer finds Ismael to be delusional and completely out of his mind. He tries to find Sylvia and return Ismael to his love and to his right mind.
ISMAEL’S GHOSTS premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2017 receiving very negative feedback from the audience. However, the director reportedly has inserted some more footage to flesh out his story. Despite his efforts, the movie is more like a series of different scenes messily strung together in an unorganized fashion than a cohesive movie. The melodramatic acting, which comes complete with twists and lots of screaming nonsense, is exhausting to watch and does nothing but pull the viewer out of the story’s reality.
ISMAEL’S GHOSTS has an overarching Romantic worldview where the characters follow no moral compass and answer only to the lustful desires of their hearts. There are brief mentions of the Bible in reference to a few stories in the Old Testament, as well as a humanist moment when Ismael yells to the sky telling God that he doesn’t hold Him in any esteem whatsoever. Containing full frontal female nudity, as well as an exuberant amount of other objectionable content such as foul language, sexual content and violence, ISMAEL’S GHOSTS is an unacceptable, abhorrent, incoherent work.