NYFF Film Review: ‘Mrs. Hyde’ Can’t Be Saved by Isabelle Huppert or Anyone Else

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Still from "Mrs. Hyde" with Isabelle Huppert

2017 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL: Serge Bozon looks as though he’s thrown together a student film with his oddly constructed failure “Mrs. Hyde” (or known as “Madame Hyde”) starring Academy Award nominee Isabelle Huppert.  Throwing out an interesting premise as a recreation on the “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” story but the film’s deficiency isn’t in its premise, it’s in its execution.  With downright embarrassing special effects, a botched rendering, and a waste of one of our most gifted European actresses, “Mrs. Hyde” lays dormant for its 95-minute runtime.

Mrs. Hyde,” tells the story of Mrs. Géquil, a teacher despised by her colleagues and students. On a stormy night, she is struck by lightning and faints. When she wakes up, she feels different leading to new behaviors she’s never experienced.

Misleading as a high-brow art, “Mrs. Hyde” ruptures upon arrival.  Isabelle Huppert desperately tries to dig deep to bring some semblance of a character to life.  The Oscar-nominated actress cannot muster such a feat.  Writer/director Bozon sprinkles arbitrary roles like a crippled student or a sleepy husband who falls asleep on a fence?  You read that correctly.

Dull, mundane, and uninteresting, there’s just so little to extrapolate from a scene in which Mrs. Géquil decides to flash her husband or a scene in which she decides to set dogs and a teenager on fire.  Not sure I remember the original Mr. Hyde walking around his city with a blank stare, sitting on park benches, and becoming overly concerned with a disabled boy who seems to just want to be a freestyle rapper.

The effects hawk back to Wes Craven’s “Shocker” while the classroom scenes attempt to capture something from “Dangerous Minds” but lands somewhere between “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit” and “Kindergarten Cop.”

Imagine putting carrots, spinach, mango, and strawberries into a blender.  Doesn’t sound that bad, does it?  Now imagine turning it on without putting the top on.  The end result is exactly “Mrs. Hyde” is; a mess that you have to work far too hard to clean up afterward.

“Mrs. Hyde” is still looking for U.S. distribution.

GRADE: (★)