Hotel Harabati

This intriguing, ably shot and directed addition to the ‘cinema of anxiety’ sees a bourgeois Parisian couple (Laurent Lucas and Hélène Fillières) – about to leave, sans children, for a holiday in Venice – pick up and keep a holdall left by a Arab traveller. When it turns out to be full of banknotes and they spot the Arab gentleman on nearby streets, their initial soupçon of guilt is compounded by paranoiac imaginings of terrorist plots which begin to unsettle and threaten the delicate balance of their already pressurised social relations, careers (as architect and voice-actress), and hurried, cash-strapped family life. Adopting a tradition that goes back at least as far as Alain Jessua’s ’60s ‘Life Upside Down’, debutant Brice Cauvin maps out a descent into uncharacteristic behaviour, hallucination, infantalism and isolation in nice, small, naturalist steps, well served by his leads, especially doleful Lucas, the Monsieur Neurosis of modern French cinema. Less successful is its bid for grander metaphor, undermined intially by over-reliance on realist trickery and finally by an ambitious ending for which the viewer has been insufficiently prepared.

Release details

Release date: Friday December 7 2007
Duration: 94 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Brice Cauvin
Screenwriter: Brice Cauvin, Jérôme Beaujour, Pierre Scholler
Cast: Laurent Lucas
Hélène Fillières
Anouk Aimée
Anthony Roth Costanzo
Julie Gayet
Sabine Haudepin
Husky Kihal
Charlotte Clamens

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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camondo

love this movie intriguing and arty film . A UFO film, like no other, very creative, moving and disturbing. a master piece

camondo

love this movie intriguing and arty film . A UFO film, like no other, very creative, moving and disturbing. a master piece