Wealthy entrepreneur Michele Leblanc owner of the company that makes video games, along with her best friend Anna. She is divorced from her former husband, Richard, and having an affair with Ann’s husband, Robert. Her son Vincent lives with his girlfriend Josie who is pregnant. Her mother Irene tries to convince Michele to visit his father who is serving a life sentence in prison for the murder of 27 neighbors. One day, Michele is raped by an unknown man who wears a mask on his face. She bought an ax and tear gas, and decides to find her attacker. When this man again breaks into her house, Michele defeat him and for him to have ready a special surprise. Whoever he is, we will soon find out …
“Elle” is a movie that starts pretty hard – with the end one of rape. Michelle Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert), a very uptight business woman of 50 years, is attacked in his home by masked attackers. Although very traumatized (it all the time repeating this terrible event in my head, sometimes imagined as that successfully repelled the attacks rapists), she tries to be honest about it in their daily lives, especially when you talk about it to her best friend and business partner Anna (Anna Consigny), and her husband Robert (Christian Berkel), with which otherwise Michelle has a love affair. She even refuses to even go to the police, because they do not believe ever since his childhood.
The work that Michelle and Anna water is Softwareska company that produces a distinctly non-feminist video games, which is one of the many ironies in this stark and uncomfortable comedy dissection power struggle between different sexes. Michelle wonders if it might be one of its employees actually her attacker, especially since it starts getting very disturbing text messages. Michelle’s emotional stagnation looks is directly related to her turbulent childhood. Her story all the time is overridden scenes of gruesome murders that her father committed when she was a child.
Based on the novel “Oh …” Philippe Diana, this film is directed by Paul Verhoeven ( “Basic Instinct,” “Showgirls”), which is not at all a stranger such complicated stories about sex and violence. But, unlike many of its primitive films, “Elle” is much more specific and deeper. Action the whole movie without any problem carries Isabelle Huppert, which is formidable faked strong, but also very vulnerable woman who is on his attack reacted very complex. Amazingly, even though we may not be able to understand or identify with what Michelle does, Huppert plays it so authentic to us her moves at any point does not seem like an impossible or disproportionate.
It is very difficult to call this movie thriller, film, vengeance or even a sex comedy, although it has elements of all three genres. Despite over twenty years of artistic work, and many films behind him, Verhoeven is this time truly managed to “repeat” this incredibly eerie story that will keep you in the dark until his final scene. If you do not mind dark themes which the film deals with, definitely should check it out, because of similar films in 2016 almost was not.