By the Niagara Falls on the Canadian border, there’s an encounter between twenty-somethings Victor and Agathe: two lost souls who fall for each other. The Parisienne Agathe, adopted and bogged down in a complex relationship with her therapist, is on holiday on her own. Victor is coping with a family drama.
Their problems do not get in the way of a passionate relationship; they make love and philosophize all night long about their love, their difficult pasts and a possible future. But Victor’s ghosts remain alive.
The Whirlpool is an experimental, raw film project with a small budget and a large dose of fantasy, filmed with small hand-held cameras, including an iPhone. The production originated in e-mails between director Alvin Case and the French actress Agathe Feoux. Their correspondence provided ideas for the storyline, the locations and possible themes. During the shooting, that raw material developed into a kaleidoscopic, playful story helped by acting, emotion and improvisation. –Rotterdam
The Whirlpool is a movie that needs to sink in, you will not find an instant gratification in watching it. I saw it yesterday and decided to sleep over it as watching it made me somehow confused. In the best possible way. I enjoy art that gives you a lot to think about and that is unsettling. I was curious to see how the technical part of it would come through. As you might already know, the movie has been shot with the help of only two DSLRs and an iPhone 4. It was beautifully shot. Beautifully. I felt no need for a different device, I felt no need or longing for traditional cameras. The two main characters will give you a lot of food for thought after you discover the choices they make in order to ammend a troubled past and these choices subtly develop during their time together. The two actors are fantastic. You will see Agathe Feoux for the first time, probably. And you will probably decide she has got a great future in cinema. And you will see a more mature Pierre Perrier making his best role so far, in my opinion. His vivid sexuality is still present here but it is put to a better use than ever, the director seems to have supported him in taking a new step in his career. Alvin Case, Agathe Feoux and Pierre Perrier have all worked on the dialogue of the movie which makes it organic and authentic, the actors have also improvised a lot - you should feel and enjoy that if you are a fan of Gaspar Noé 's "Irreversible" or Derek Cianfrance's "Blue Valentine" to pick only two movies where improvisation works remarkably well. There's a lot of symbolism in the movie and it is well spent, so to speak. Discreet and in small doses but powerful. The movie still lingers in my mind, it still leaves some things for me to figure out and it brought refined work to my attention, both in terms of directing and acting. Watch it reading some things about it beforehand (http://www.squaremedium.com/thewhirlpool) or just dive into it with no prior information, you will enjoy it either way.