Blu-ray Review: Möbius (2013)

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AKA: Mobius 

Instead of spinning a yarn from a single plot strand to weave together a rich cinematic tapestry, writer/director Eric Rochant presents us with a knotted web of lies and deceit that unravel into a Möbius strip by the end of this riveting espionage tale.

A highly complicated film of who knows what and when, although its characters all appear to hover around one target, Rochant’s intricate Möbius is an internationally set saga of double agents, multiple angles and several sides.

A sexy, smart and sophisticated hybrid of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Thomas Crown Affair that also serves up a new twist on one of the most memorable breathtaking moments from Scorsese’s Departed that finds a character’s true identity and alliance nearly betrayed by a cell phone on a stakeout, Möbius is as fast-paced as it is intellectually fascinating.

Although it was overlooked in the mainstream U.S. press, Möbius is that rare type of film that’s actually enhanced by an in-home versus theatrical release since the less you know going in the better off you are.

And considering its infinitely complex plotline that demands your full attention, you’ll be grateful for the opportunity of the DVD/Blu-ray to rewind scenes, press pause and dissect Rochant’s work aloud without angering nearby moviegoers.

Likewise, given the initially convoluted (and constantly evolving storyline) that centers on the way that the romantic relationship between Jean Dujardin's Russian FSB agent and the American banker (Cecile De France) he's using to take down Tim Roth threatens to turn his cloak and dagger mission into a multi-country clusterfuck, Möbius plays even better the second time around.

And with this in mind, Lionsgate’s newly released razor-sharp Blu-ray boasts an Ultraviolet digital high definition copy for portable devices destined to make multiple screenings easier.

Augmented by the performances of its core ensemble cast, Möbius is so compelling that it manages to make up for its minor missteps including the somewhat dubiously out-of-character behavior of Dujardin and De France in the development of their relationship.

Although we’d noticed his growing Laura-like obsession with his subject, the way that their one-night stand escalates unrealistically quickly into a full-blown love affair given De France’s formerly unflappable, always in-control financial wizard’s sudden confession that she’s found a “home” in his arms mere hours after meeting him rings false.

Yet because Möbius harks back to Hitchcockian tales of romantic espionage released around the time that moviegoers were also introduced to the gritty realism of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Rochant’s soap operatic flourishes are as easy to forgive as some of the film’s just-in-the-nick-of-time plot contrivances (including a video phone chat that coincides with an attempt on a life).

Like a kaleidoscope that offers us a new version of the colorful puzzle with every twist and turn, in Möbius, Rochant dares to serve up additional layers to his intricate web of spies and lies while simultaneously separating the truth about his characters from the fiction.

Respecting the intelligence of his audience the entire way, Rochant spins the knotted plot strands into cloak and dagger gold, crafting a first rate, grown up thriller that never fails to impress.

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