After her failed marriage, Gloria becomes sheltered emotionally, living alone in a modest apartment with her daughter. Impelled by her friend, Madeleine, Gloria agrees to begin dating again. On her first date with Michel there is an instant spark, with Gloria instantly falling in love with him. Michel, a small-time con artist of single women, quickly flees from Gloria after recognizing her true affection for him. Willing to do anything to salvage this love, Gloria hunts down Michel, agreeing to assist Michel in his "widow" cons. Fabrice Du Welz's Alleluia is subversive yet silly film about the destructive power of love, affection, and loneliness. Gloria is a woman who is clearly emotionally broken, due to her previous marriage, and as Michel carries out his cons she becomes increasingly jealous, driven crazy by her fear of losing Michel. What ensues is a twisted journey into darkness, with Michel and Gloria becoming slaves to seduction and suppressed desire. While Alleluia is subversive fun, the film doesn't spend enough time exploring the fragmented psyche of its protagonists, hastily rushing forward to the next shock moment. These two characters are connected due to deeply routed psychological trauma, yet the film spends little time actually exploring this. Shot by the same cinematographer as Amer and Strange Color of Your Bodies Tears, Amer is a visually striking film that using lighting to express its characters. Featuring a very claustrophobic style with lots of close-ups and handheld, Alleluia creates a sense of paranoia that elevates the film's sense of unease. Questionable gender politics aside, Alleluia is a silly, subversive film about a morbid pact between a man with mommy issues and a woman who desperately craves affection.
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