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TIFF 2020: “Saint-Narciss”


Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

There are some stories that are better left untold. Not because they are meaningless and won’t bring any value to us, but it because it is disturbing to think that a human being can endure so much.

“Saint-Narcisse” follows a young man, Dominic (Félix-Antoine Duval), who always thought that his mother (Tania Kontoyanni) was dead. But then he finds a letter that leads him towards the place where she hides, and to his great surprise, she lives with a mysterious woman named Irene (Alexandra Petrachuk). But that is just the beginning of a mystical story that will uncover many dark secrets for him, including the appearance of his twin brother he did not know existed.

Dominic is in love with a person and believes only that person can satisfy him the most – himself. His own reflection attracts him so much that nothing can stop him from admiring it in any possible way he can. If that is more or less an acceptable detail of our hero, as the story unfolds, you will find that he did not go far from any character you meet in the film. But when he meets his identical twin brother, he does not mind making love to him too, after all, his love for himself has no boundaries.

Screenplay by Martin Girard and Bruce La Bruce and directed by La Bruce himself, “Saint-Narcisse” is the weirdest film you will see at the Toronto International Film Festival. While it’s mind-boggling how it ended up being selected for the festival, the film itself is not that bad at all. It’s just that you have to be ready for a film that offers lots of nudity, sexual content that is, which, to be fair, justifies the narrative you see. To pull that off, Félix-Antoine Duval as the twin brothers does an amazing job by being fully committed to a character that is forgettable. But because of his approach and determination, his Dominic turns into flesh and blood, no matter how silly he can look.

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