Film Review: The Lodger

Julie and Elizabeth

The loss of a loved one, especially a life partner, can affect people in strange and unusual ways. We can shrink into ourselves and away from the outside world, lost in our grief and memories. Or we can approach the future head-on, determined to move on with our lives whilst never forgetting the past. There is no right or wrong reaction. We all respond to a bereavement in our own unique way.  In The Lodger, a woman refuses to accept reality and simply just carries on as if nothing has happened.

Julie (Alice Isaaz) is excited to start university in Bordeaux. Moving from the country, she doesn’t know anyone in the city and is thankful when she finds somewhere cheap to live. Lodging with an elderly eccentric lady (Jacqueline Bisset). The only drawback is that Elizabeth has not got over the death of her husband Victor. She still believes that her love is alive, using a mannequin or clothing to show his presence. He starts to manifest to Julie in an altogether different way.

The Lodger mixes Mannequin and Greta to create an unusual and provocative erotic thriller which plays on themes of grief, guilt and loneliness. Both women choose fantasy over an imperfect reality, opting for the man of their dreams instead of a flesh and blood imperfection. This could easily have been a total mess but in Baptiste Drapeau’s hands it largely works. Bisset revels in the role and her almost Pantomime performance ensures The Lodger is an entertaining and amusing romp.

The Lodger is released on Digital and on DVD by Lightbulb Film Distribution on 18 October.

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