Complete Unknown :: Clunky and Flimsy and Don’t Waste Your Money…

The trailer for Complete Unknown is one of those trailers (as so many are these days) that gives far too much away. As I started watching the film, I remembered what I'd gleaned from the trailer and frankly, it was more than I would like to have known. Ultimately, however, it didn't matter, because the film is pants.

Complete Unknown is the story of a mysterious woman - Alice (Rachel Weisz) - who ends up at a dinner party with a bunch of close friends, one of whom - Tom (Michael Shannon) - she seems to know from some time in the past. It's all a bit queer. Is Alice a pathological liar? Does she have other psychological issues? Is she dangerous?

Then things come to a head quite suddenly and new possibilities open up within the story. Then there's some clunky exposition, and some extremely implausible action featuring an old woman with a bad back, and then it ends.

Ultimately the film has such a flimsy grip on reality that I just found myself micro-obsessing on how much of an arsehole Tom would have to be to do anything at all that might potentially jeopardise his relationship with Ramina, who as far as I could see was an actual living, breathing goddess. She was creative - she made beautiful jewellery; she listened to her husband's mind-numbing stories about his job in finance; she seemed like fun - she liked to smile; oh, and she happened to look just like Azita Ghanizada.

Cineville - Unknown - Azita Ghanizada


I'm sorry.

If the film were any better, I'd raise my game, I swear.

Look at her though.

Cineville - Unknown - Azita Ghanizada


So, yeah, the story of a woman with extraordinary commitment issues and a man who has no idea how lucky he is.

The last three words I wrote in my pad - in capitals - were these: DUMB FUCKING FILM.

Some tension in the dinner scenes. Mostly meh.


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Cineville - Unknown


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The Viewing

I came to this film on a total whim. I was on my way back from a friend's house in the Pijp and I found myself on Kinkerstraat and riding almost involuntarily into the car park under the Hallen. I knew there'd be a batch of films starting between 9 and 10 and the next one happened to be Complete Unknown. I'd seen a trailer and thought, Meh. But also: what the hell.

I actually had fifteen minutes to kill so I left my bike where it was and walked across the street to the nearby Albert Heijn, where I purchased snacks and was served at the till by a young lady who paid me so little heed, so very little heed, that I think she might actually have paid me minus heed. If it's possible, she did it. Then I had a big pipe by a canal and went into the zaal.

It was the first time I'd taken snacks into an Amsterdam cinema - a small plastic bowl of chocolate peanuts and a bottle of drinking yoghurt. (I eat a surprising amount of yoghurt for a man who has given up cow's milk.) Oh, and some water.


Even with drinks holders either side, when you throw in gloves and hats and bags and pens and pads, all on top of a big pipe, well, it all got a bit unwieldy for a moment. For a moment it was like Norman Wisdom was in the front row setting up a deckchair.

I think that the older I get, the more eccentric I'm becoming.

I had better keep an eye on myself.


Cineville - Unknown - Norman Wisdom

I saw the new Cineville ad tonight for the first time. I like it a lot. Looks like they've got a few bob kicking about too. Maybe enough to hire an English reviewer for their site. I'll have a word, down the line. 

Here's the ad. Get past the words at the start. It's a diamond. 

About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you'll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven't already.

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