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The efforts of lead Jérémie Renier can’t hide that this cold, distant Belgian potboiler hardly ever lures you to the edge of your seat.

Inspired by the true-life story of a Belgian MP accused of murdering his wife during a seaside holiday, you would expect L'Ennemi to be a tense potboiler that leaves the question of whether he did the foul deed or not lingering long enough to tip you over the edge of your seat. Alas, that is not what the film delivers.

Writer-director Stephan Streker curiously decides to tell the tale nearly completely from within the main character's own personal bubble, filtering out all the opinions and contrasting views of both his closest friends and the general public, resulting in a picture that contains a minimal amount of tension.

Despite a game Jérémie Renier in the lead role this is not compensated by taut inner turmoil as his emotions mostly read like a blank canvas that doesn't give anything away.

Further hampered by a visual style that relies mostly on bland close-ups and a total lack of music - making the cold and distant viewing experience even less appealing - L'Ennemi proves to be a picture that wants to be so subtle it ultimately isn't much of anything at all.

release: 2022

director: Stephan Streker

starring: Jérémie Renier, Alma Jodorowsky, Emmanuelle Bercot, Félix Maritaud


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