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Hell review

Bosnian director Danis Tanovic (No Man's Land) returns with this anguished French melodrama. Based on an original screenplay by Krzysztof Kieslowski, Hell interweaves the stories of three estranged adult siblings: Sophie (Emmanuelle Béart) is being cheated on by her hubby, Anne (Marie Gillain) is embroiled in an affair with a married professor, whilst the timid Céline (Karin Viard) dutifully visits their wheelchair-bound mother (Carole Bouquet).

Cutting backwards and forwards in time and exploring (albeit superficially) the degree to which our lives are governed by destiny or free will, Hell eventually reveals the shocking childhood event that so traumatised the sisters. There are plenty of visual flourishes in the baroque storytelling, but the film lacks both the emotional intensity and mysteriousness of Kieslowski's best work.

 

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