"An Occult Movie Unable To Find Peace with a Meandering Plot"
What You Need To Know:
PERSONAL SHOPPER begins slowly without much explanation what’s happening. It doesn’t pick up until near the end. Any suspense is largely lost to the movie’s slow, disjointed pace. Apparently, the filmmakers can’t figure out what kind of movie they want to make. As a result, PERSONAL SHOPPER feels very disjointed and unsatisfying. Spiritualism and the occult play a huge role in Maureen’s story while a few other characters insist there’s nothing after death. PERSONAL SHOPPER contains some foul language, sexual content, foul language, and explicit nudity, as well as a bloody murder scene. The occult worldview is abhorrent.
(OOO, H, LL, VV, SS, NN, A, D, MM) Very strong occult, spiritualist worldview where the protagonist believes she is a medium to the afterlife and has several interactions with ghosts, with several conversations about spiritualism and one scene depicts a séance, plus a character expresses the humanist, atheist belief that “after death there is nothing”; 13 obscenities and one profanity; strong violence includes a bloody murder scene is shown with a nude victim and a man is shot; scene depicts a woman abusing herself, a couple is having an affair, a woman lives with her boyfriend; two scenes show upper female nudity; a couple scenes show casual drinking over conversation; one scene depicts cigarette smoking; and, a woman breaks the rules of her job behind her boss’ back.
In PERSONAL SHOPPER, a young woman working with fashion stars, who considers herself a medium, tries to make contact with her deceased twin brother. With a meandering plot, this slightly suspenseful movie struggles to find its identity and has an abhorrent occult worldview with R-rated content.
Kristen Stewart stars as Maureen, a young American who works for some of Europe’s most famous fashion stars as their personal shopper. Maureen zips between haute couture shops in Paris on her motorcycle, meticulously pawing through dresses, shoes, and jewelry before hopping a train to London and doing the same there. After spending thousands of Euros, she delivers the goods to her clients’ fancy homes and depressingly puts up with their out-of-touch attitudes. Most of this is done with a frown on Maureen’s face because she’s not allowed to try on any of the tempting garments while shopping and feels her life is that of a lowly domestic servant, far apart from her original plans.
Maureen intends to quit her demeaning job, but she keeps explaining to people that she’s waiting. She clarifies that her two brother, Lewis, recently suffered a heart attack while living in Paris and died in his large home in the countryside, and she’s waiting for him. The movie opens with Maureen being dropped off at the abandoned home just before dusk, and she spends the night trying to communicate with the soul of her dead brother. The house seems to be haunted, as strange noises occur and symbols appear in the wall plaster. Hoping it’s Lewis leaving a sign for her, which is their agreement should one of them die, she comes back another night only to be harassed by a ghost that is most certainly not Lewis. It’s bad news for the interested buyers who don’t want to purchase a haunted house.
Frustrated with her lack of progress, Maureen turns to researching mediums and how they communicate with the dead. She and Lewis had always considered themselves mediums, able to pick up on the invisible spiritual forces that occupy an unseen dimension of reality. On a train trip to London, Maureen starts receiving strange texts from an unknown number. Her first thought is that it’s Lewis, but as the texts transform from a silly stalking game into something far more personal, she decides that someone (or something) is watching her every move. Unsure how to proceed, she’s whisked away on a desperate mission to find out the identity of the person texting while encountering the murdered body of a client and hoping that Lewis is still to be found.
PERSONAL SHOPPER begins slowly without much explanation as to what is happening. A ghostly image appears just out of Maureen’s line of sight at first, setting it up to be a horror movie that never really happens. The suspense the movie tries to build is largely lost to the movie’s slow, disjointed pace. Most of the “suspense” comes from the strange texts Maureen receives. This might have worked had it been done more selectively. Instead, viewers are forced to read close to 30 minutes of a texting conversation, which gets old much sooner than that. The plot is meandering and can’t figure out what kind of movie it wants to be. It jumps around from a mild horror movie, to a drama about a girl finding peace with her brother’s death, to a young career woman barely tolerating her job. As a result, it feels very disjointed and unsatisfying.
Spiritualism and the occult play a huge role in the plot. Maureen believes herself to be a medium capable of communicating with wandering souls in the afterlife. She waxes philosophical about it all in several scenes, revealing she doesn’t know what she believes, especially after her failed attempts to contact Lewis. Some characters declare nothing to exist after death. PERSONAL SHOPPER also contains some sexual content. Maureen bares her upper body in a couple of scenes, one for an extensive amount of time. Finally, there is some foul language, as well as a bloody murder scene.
PRSONAL SHOPPER’s occult worldview is abhorrent, and its R-rated content makes things even worse.