Buy This Film
2004
Rated: R for strong sexual content, and graphic violence.
Genre: Crime Mystery Suspense Thriller
Directed By: Greg Harrison
Running Time: 1:18
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 2/20/07
Special Features:
None
NOVEMBER

 

Its tragedy that make up the best crime stories. Our noir heroes have always had someone they loved either taken away from them or leave them in their life. Noir is made up essentially of crime, tragedy, and taboo. “November” really strives to follow this formula based primarily around a steady diet of neo-noir aspirations. Harrison’s mystery is atmospheric setting Sophie’s world as isolated, dark, and filled with paranoia of what may be lurking for her in her stalker. Pictures begin appearing that she never took, and she decides to investigate as she continues re-living the experience of the night of her husband’s death. What is happening to Sophie? We don’t find out until the climax. “November” is pretty interesting, and will grab those that are fans of the mystery genre. Sophie is a curious sleuth whose entire motivation is due to the circumstance of her partner’s death. With a rather subdued performance from Cox, “November” is never what you’d expect it to be, and to many, the climax will prove that to them.

The promise of the surprise twist in the end is pretty much made to the audience at the start of the film. Sophie is not a nice person who cheats on her well to do husband and he’s shot dead in a store one night introducing fate and basic irony to a woman who really only seeks self-gratification throughout the story. Harrison’s elaborate mystery pretty much leads up to that point of interest. Beyond that, “November” is a pretty sleepy bit of melodrama neo-noir that prefer a live sense of shooting that makes it seem rather indie, when really it’s not so much. Because beyond its style, it’s really nothing more than a dry hump promising nothing more than an ending that’s predictable once we round the climax. Every scene is a clue, nothing is as it seems, everything is played out of sequence, yawn.

As a film, “November” is only mildly interesting with characters that are unlikable yet never interesting. They’re given enough emphases to the point where we can understand their actions and affairs, yet they’re never drawn out enough to bring us in at their level. I could never understand why Sophie was deemed such an interesting character, even when Cox’s performance ranges on slightly mediocre with a character that is often wooden.  

“November” requires a lot of patience with empty tension, and twists that never seem to want to challenge its audience to venture with November. The film, like “Memento” seems based on an experience the character hasn’t realized yet, and when she does, we realize there was really nothing there but empty promises and a pretty cliché “surprise” ending with a character we never cared much for anyway.

Sadly, as much as I wanted to enjoy “November,” it’s a pretty underwhelming and dull quasi-mystery that takes interesting characters played by mediocre actors and expect us to follow without dozing off.

 

 

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