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The Independent Critic

Pierre Moure, Martin Loizillon, Julie-Marie Parmentier
Raphael Neal
Raphael Neal (Screenplay), Alice Zeniter (Screenplay), Leslie Kaplan (Novel)
81 Mins.
Artsploitation Films

 "Fever" Released by Artsploitation Films 

Loosely inspired by the Leopold and Loeb case from the 1920s, Raphael Neal's Fever is a psychological thriller and character study following the lives of two high school students, Damien (Martin Loizillon) and Pierre (Pierre Moure), who impetuously kill a woman then return to school with their seemingly unperturbed upper class lives fully intact. It seems that their crime goes undiscovered, at least until a neighbor makes a connection to them and must decide between turning them in and exacting justice in her own way. 

Fever had quite a bit of success on the film festival circuit with screenings at the Montreal World Film Festival, Mumbai International Film Festival, Cinequest, and Champs-Elysees Film Festival among others. Almost entirely based upon the aftermath of the killing in question, Fever is very much a character study more than anything resembling an actual action pic. It's the kind of film that makes you think while building suspense, a film that soars higher than one might expect courtesy of quality performances from co-leads Loizillon and Moure. 

The film's original music, by Camille, is quality music but not well suited to the film itself as it creates an atmosphere unto itself instead of weaving itself into the film's atmosphere. 

Fever is neither the best nor the worst film to be at least somewhat inspired by the Leopold and Loeb case, though one could and should argue that this film is more inspired by the dynamics of the case than the case itself. It's an intelligent psychological thriller with rich, satisfying performances but also one that didn't linger in my psyche' as much as it seems it should have and didn't really leave its mark intellectually or emotionally. I felt done with the film as the closing credits were rolling, ready to move on rather than actually excited about the prospect of writing about it. 

For more information on Fever, visit the Artsploitation website linked to in the credits. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic