I CANT SLEEP
(Jai Pas Sommeil)
The film is based on a series of real-life killings conducted by Martinican immigrant Thierry Paulin between 1984 and 1986. Paulin was a drag performer who murdered elderly women, taking their money and leading a lavish, drug-fuelled lifestyle with his gay lover. He was arrested for murdering eighteen victims, although is believed responsible for twenty-one. However, before he could be brought to trial and convicted, Paulin died in jail in 1989 from AIDs related illnesses.
However, these appear almost incidental to the film. Instead, we observe Katarina Golabevas arrival in Paris, her attempt to find lodgings; Richard Courcets hustlings; and Alex Descass marital struggle of war over his son. Virtually none of this has any relevance to the Granny Killings. It is about an hour before there is any significant plot development in the film. In comparison, an American film would turn Katarina Golabevas discovery of Richard Courcet as the killer that comes near the end into the suspenseful centre of the film. In fact, in an American thriller everything that happens in this film would take up only about ten minutes of plot time. Claire Denis fails to milk the pursuit for anything one can understand that that is not the sort of film she is trying to make but the climax of the film is arrived at indifferently. Certainly, Daigas story and Theos marital struggle is of no importance to it whatsoever. All the actors in the film at least play well.
Claire Denis has received modest arthouse acclaim for her other directorial efforts that include the likes of Beau Travail (1999), The Intruder (2004), 35 Shots of Rum (2008), White Material (2009) and Bastards (2013). Her only other venture into genre material was the horror film Trouble Every Day (2001).
Clip from the film here:-