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THE CHAPEL

Flemish film The Chapel is a damp squib because the screenplay would embarrass a first-year film student, let alone a helmer who once was Oscar-nominated.


It takes a special talent to come up with an intriguing premise for a taut psychological thriller and then turn it into the dampest of squibs, yet that is what Flemish director Dominique Deruddere has done with The Chapel.


The story about a troubled young pianist who gets sequestered in a chapel with eleven other musicians competing in a world-renowned concours is ripe for all kinds of drama, so it’s puzzling that there is none whatsoever to be found in The Chapel.


The main reason is a screenplay that would embarrass a first-year film student, let alone a helmer who once was Oscar-nominated: the plotting is inept, the dialogues are laughably bad and the flashbacks scattered throughout are a pathetically clichéd attempt to add character depth. In fact, all characters are so poorly drawn even the actors seemingly cannot be bothered to breathe life into them.


And then there’s the denouement, which not only establishes The Chapel as a pointless and aimless film, but as one that is utterly clueless about what exactly the story is that it’s trying to tell.



release: 2023

director: Dominique Deruddere

starring: Taeke Nicolaï, Ruth Becquart, Kevin Janssens, Abigail Abraham

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