2015 Canadian Film Festival: ‘Nocturne’ Review



Everyone has a type. Maybe it’s certain personality trait or maybe it’s having bright blue eyes. In Nocturne there is no preference on either part- just two fates mysteriously intertwined by their unfortunate night habits.

Nocturne introduces us to a middle-aged insomniac named Cindy (Mary Krohnert) with close ups of her perceiving, wide but tired blue eyes and the sound of her pencil scratching the surface of her notepad.  Hunching over her desk she sketches a flower and looks up into her coworker Armen’s (Knickoy Robinson) cubicle to see an origami version of the flower on his desk.  Intrigued, she tries to get his attention with each advance ignored. A lack of interest? Maybe she just isn’t his type. You then notice Armen’s face is void of any awareness on his surroundings.

Cindy’s infatuation borders obsession as she follows Armen; watching him mindlessly stroll the streets, urinate in strange alleyways and indulge in excessive eating.  Armen is a sleepwalker and our sleepless heroine is smitten. There is an undeniable urge to want the pair to make an appearance in every scene. The lead male had an almost impossible task in helping create the chemistry between the two and pulled it off effortlessly.

The pair doesn’t speak often. Similar to silent films, the majority of the mood was conveyed through the brilliant choice of music. For me, creating atmosphere is one of the most crucial parts of captivating an audience. The selection of whimsical flute and piano melodies manipulated each scene to keep me devoted to Cindy’s larger than life problems.

Dialogue plays such a huge role in the direction the film is headed and in character development but in Nocturne you hardly notice the absence of dialogue until Armen wakes up and goes “Who the hell are you?” That’s how impeccably put together the film is.  Portraying each smile, frown and furrowed brow effortlessly, the lead actress truly made the film a pleasure to watch. You fall more in love with her with every moment and shake your head at Armen for being asleep during her charming performance.

Another element to note is the use of black and white illustrations to give insight into Cindy’s luckless past. These short scenes were telling, impactful and wonderfully drawn. They give us a little break from the obscure fairy-tale turned crime drama and hypnotize us with a down-the-rabbit-hole trip to Cindy’s childhood.

When Nocturne began with “Once upon a time…” I was expecting a fairy tale completely different than the one I got. This film was dark, captivating and imaginative.

Nocturne will be playing at The Royal Theatre March 28 at 6 p.m. 

Tickets can be purchased here!

Watch the trailer for Nocturne below


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