Ambitious but flawed study of a 19-year-old girl who arrives in New York on a mission to blow herself up in Times Square. As she makes her preparations, holed up in a dreary hotel, acting on instructions from unseen or masked collaborators, Loktev refuses to provide any clues as to why her protagonist has chosen such an unusual fate - save, perhaps, the belated (and trite) suggestion that she’s left a loveless home. Consequently, the film - shot largely in close-up in long wordless takes, as if Loktev’s been OD-ing on the Dardennes’ films but learning nothing from them - reveals little and feels painfully slow: overly reliant on a weak lead performance, it drags so much that you’re left almost wanting the bomb to go off.
Cast and crew
Josh Phillip Weinstein