The Monk would test the patience of a saint in lethally slow tale based on Gothic novel
23:01 GMT, 3 May 2012
THE MONK (15)
Verdict: Not Gothic enough
The Monk Set in Spain but spoken in French, this is a lethally slow, stylistically confused tale — based on a 1796 Gothic novel — about a respected friar in 17th-century Spain who finds himself drawn to sins of carnality.
Vincent Cassel does his utmost to make his character intense and compelling, but negligible character development means he fails to hold our interest.
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Bad habit: Vincent Cassel in The Monk
The two female temptations (Deborah Francois and Josephine Japy) are gorgeous enough to test the celibacy of a saint, but they take an unduly long time to exert their wiles.
When Sergi Lopez eventually reveals himself as the Devil, he brings the flamboyance and smell of brimstone that the rest of the picture lacks.
Dominik Moll — who made the delightful thriller Harry, He’s Here To Help (2000) — is a talented director.
The Monk is full of memorable and disturbing images, but they don’t cohere or convey a sense of tragedy. It needed a faster pace and a less predictable narrative arc.
This Monk is, I’m afraid, doomed to a life of lonely seclusion.
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