Review: Personal Shopper is an intriguing slow burner

Kristin Stewart stars in Personal Shopper.

Kristin Stewart stars in Personal Shopper. - Credit: Archant

A film by French director Olivier Assaya, Personal Shopper stars Kristen Stewart, who after rising to fame in the Twilight movies has been excelling in much less mainstream fare of late.

The title here is misleading as this is actually an eerie ghost story.

Stewart plays Maureen, who is working in Paris as a personal shopper for a high profile French celebrity.

However, Maureen is also a psychic medium and the real reason for her stay in France is that she is attempting to contact her twin brother who died recently due to a rare congenial heart condition.

Before his death the pair had made a pact in which, should one of them pass on, they would attempt to make contact with the other from the afterlife.

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During her wait for a sign Maureen begins to receive mysterious text messages from an unknown number which become gradually more unsettling.

The film itself is a slow burner, there are long periods of nothingness, but there is an overriding sense of foreboding which keeps you enthralled.

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Assaya opts against big jump scares and spends time focusing on Stewart, whose performance is outstanding.

For most of the film she has nobody to engage with and spends big chunks either shopping for dressses or reading text messages, but she still makes those scenes eminently watchable.

The meandering pace is at times frustrating, but the haunting atmospheric tone, as well as Stewart’s performance, drives the film.

Some will also be left disappointed by the lack of any real resolution, as the film doesn’t give you all the answers and urges the audience to reach their own conclusions.

On the whole, I found this to be an intriguing, albeit slow, supernatural mystery with a particularly impressive central performance.

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