Max, a young corporate hotshot, leaves his successful new world behind to search for his elusive lost love Lisa. His mad quest begins after he accidentally overhears Lisa's melodic voice speaking in the phone booth next do... more »or. But before he knows it, she is gone. Still, he is so elated that he abandons his plans, lies to his fiancee, and after leaving his luggage with his pal Lucien, sets off to find her. The hunt leads to a fabulous apartment, where he saves a girl from a suicide thinking that she is Lisa. But this girl, Alice is as drab and mousy as Max's Lisa is beautifully feline. Max becomes involved with Alice, unaware that she also dates Lucien.Meanwhile the real Lisa attempts to break free from her obsessive rich lover who may have murdered his wife. For this reason, she continues to avoid her apartment, which she has generously loaned to Alice. When these characters collide, the stage is set for a tragic denouement.« less
Now *that* is one helluva great mystery movie. I had to watch it 4 times to figure it out and even then, I needed help from the IMDB discussion boards. Near as I can tell, on those discussion boards only one person has managed to figure out the correct plot to this movie. When I read her/his post is when the AHA! dropped. I went back to watch it again and, sure enough, the poster was right. That was the only explanation of the plot that made sense and held it all together.
This is a superb movie, with great actors. Vincent Cassel strays from his usual bad-boy image and becomes a relatively clueless, befuddled guy, chasing a former lover who remains elusive. Monica Bellucci (Cassel's wife in real life) is gorgeous and definitely worth the chase. However, I have to disagree with Sandra Brennan (AMG reviewer) on two points:
1. Alice (Romane Bohringer) is far from drab and mousy. She is mysterious and enigmatic and very attractive.
2. Lisa loaned her car to Alice, not the apartment. She thinks the apartment is dangerous, that's why she won't go there herself. Alice goes there without permission, because she happens to have the key.
If you enjoy a well-made, maddeningly convoluted mystery, this movie will put you into seventh heaven.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Terrible DVD of a good film
Peter07 | Seoul, Korea | 10/25/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have the French region 2 PAL DVD, and gosh, this region 1 version sounds just horrible. The French DVD is anamorphic AND has DTS sound.
To true lovers of this film, get a multi-region DVD player and get the French version. It's the only version that can do this film justice."
One of the best French films of the 90s
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 08/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"L'Appartement became an instant favorite when I saw it a few years ago, although on revisiting it I did find myself wondering for a while if I hadn't over-valued it. But then, a third into the picture it takes a sudden left turn and what had been a relatively simple romantic drama about lost love suddenly became a much more complex piece of work touching on the nature of desire and the way accidents of timing and interpretation can change fate.
What's most fun - or most frustrating, depending on how you like your narrative delivered - is the way it doubles back on itself, revealing that the passing details in one person's life can be major ones in another's, even revealing that for the first third of the movie both we and the main character haven't noticed the presence of one key character. Rewarding and exhilarating stuff. "
An exellent film
Gogol | England | 04/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not sure about the complaints about the quality of the DVD as I come from Europe I have that version (So I guess we got one up on you there) I have had no problems with the subtitles or sound quality and this film realy is truely exellent. If there are such problems they you realy need to buy the European version as this is one of the best films you are likely to see.
It has so many twists and turns that to go into any detail about the film would simply spoil it for you. Describing it as 'Hitchcock' in style is probably the best description I can think of. The acting is superb with both Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci at their best (Bellucci rarely does have a poor day in the office when it comes to her acting)
Exellent film highly recomended."
F. Y. ENG | new york, new york United States | 04/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a stunning romance thriller. It breathes like Hitchcock. After watching it I went back to the beginning of the film when the jeweler asked Max (Vincent Cassel) which of the three beautiful rings (how he described them) he will choose. Max will think about it and we find out who he choose at the end of the film. He's not sure about his engagement to Muriel when he overheard the voice of his lost love Lisa (Monica Bellucci). From there on he must find her and find out why she has left him two years ago without a word. He finds clues which may lead him to an unsuspecting surprise. The music and camera work is excellent as you follow the characters throughout and the story keeps you thinking."