The great opportunity to explore what it’s like to be a woman (then, as well as now), always in the shadow of the ‘stronger’ sex is wasted, together with a chance to draw parallels between ladder-climbing methods Georges uses and cheap modern claims to celebrity status. Erotic tensions are meagre (unless you are turned on by Pattinson’s expression of whiffing the scent of his own feet; that face is simply perfect, though, for the successful sequences in his derelict room, shaken with passing by trains and ridden with cockroaches, a symbol of utter despair and devastation that his pre-lady-killer life was), and that’s a real disappointment: it’s hard to make a film about sex not very sexy.
Being a film critic is more dangerous than most people think, especially for sensitive people like me who write unfavourably about Pattinson, who is not only protected by armies of blood-hungry teenage girls but is also a hard-to-resist keyword, very important for the search engines.
I am always trying to be impartial, research my subject well, and try myself at the skills film crews abound in (like adapting a detailed 420-page novel into a 102-minute film, working as a make-up artist, or practicing my acting skills – unlike many critics I do want to learn the medium, not just be an armchair critic farting my brains out into the sofa as if I own every secret in the game). I know how hard it is to shoot a movie (even a very bad one), and try to begin every review with a sense of awe and respect for every staff member who participated in the complicated process, the results of which are never predictable.
Therefore, i say ‘Bravo!’ to composers Lakshman Joseph De Saram and Rachel Portman (get a taste of the music in Bel Ami trailer), production designer Attila Kovacs, costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux and set decorator Anna Lynch-Robinson. Everyone else: it didn’t work this time. As Mr. Samuel Beckett puts it: ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.’
Verdict: Just like it’s fun to watch how Georges Duroy became a sensation in 1890 Paris, it’s also amazing (and a little frightening) to see how Robert Pattinson managed to become one of the most sought-after actors in 2012. Go figure. But do it at home, unless you like Pattinson’s naked ass as big as it gets, namely the size of the whole screen.