Une Idée Terrible (2015) – A Mini Review

by Steve Mitchell

I don’t do movie reviews, really, but I find myself thinking quite a bit about the movie Une Idée Terrible, adapted, from the famous short story Voulez Vous, and directed by Bennini Bernardo.

It’s a taut, tight, byzantine, musical, suspense thriller about a young woman, Ulrika (played with deft knuckle-biting charm by newcomer Amanda Banda) who unwittingly crosses paths with a shadowy, anarchistic organization known only as The League of Spoilers.

Before I go on, let me say, this movie is best seen with no preconceived ideas or foreknowledge.

If you wish to avoid spoilers, proceed no further! reads the first line of the League’s manifesto – part ominous threat, part political screed.

Amanda unwittingly proceeds, with help.  But who are her allies?  Who are her enemies?  Who can she trust?

The film masterfully misleads the audience with startling revelations and unreal surprises throughout, but it’s not without its faults.

Spoilers ahead! intones Lt. Col. Archibald Mann (portrayed with subdued alacrity by Dagmar Banda – no relation) early in the film.

It’s a sound, artistic choice but unnecessary because Spoiler Alert! beeps Ulrika’s smart phone, a mystery device hidden in her purse, covertly, by a mystery agent of unknown origin.

I don’t want to say too much more, lest I give away the big, mind-blowing surprise at the end, but, I will say the film moves at a brisk, fevered pace with surreal mood shifts and dreamlike visuals, which is wholly appropriate, given the ending wherein we discover 95 percent of the action is actually the hallucinatory fevered dream of Ulrika’s brother, Manny.


I’ve said too much.


© Steve Mitchell 2016