Tuesday, 28 March 2017

MFFF REVIEW: MOKA



7/10

Diane is grieving, but it's time to stop and act. Her son has been killed by a speeding car that didn't bother to stop. Using a private detective Diane locates the woman who was driving, but facing her nemesis turns into a strange surprise. Do the two women have too much in common? Now that Diane has located the villain, what will her next step be?

Moka is a stove-top, or electric coffee maker that produces coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee. This could be the perfect description of the protagonist Diane. She is ready to explode under pressure, but she is keeping it all inside, boiling and keeping a poker face. Emmanuelle Devo has an unusual face, definitely not a classical beauty, but she is definitely elegant. She awards her heroine the perfect mixture of fragility and strength, but she ever remains a mystery and always make us wonder what is happening behind her big deep eyes that on the surface reveal nothing. Her counterpart Natalie Baye, as a probable culprit, is a little older but plenty glamorous, confident on the outside, but  hiding deep insecurities about her family state of affairs. The two leading ladies are like Atlases and carry this film on their shoulders. The film, which has a great premise, struggles, however, to be engaging.

Living in the age of TV on demand, independent films have to prove themselves by either telling an irresistibly interesting story or being truly original. MOKA, unfortunately, doesn't tick any of these boxes. It is visually beautiful and tense but utterly predictable, at least in the mystery department. This one will not make you stop binging on the latest Netflix series.

Based on a bestselling book MOKA does many things right. It has an intriguing premise, it is interestingly shot and has some good performances. Unfortunately, in this particular case, it is just not enough to make it a great film.

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