A Perfect Enemy (2021)

Written for RAF News July 2021

Two perfect strangers find a dark psychological connection when forced together in this puzzle-box thriller.

After speaking at a conference in Paris, renowned architect Jeremiasz rushes to catch his flight home to Warsaw but is waylaid when he allows another passenger to join his cab-ride. Having to turn back for her luggage, they arrive too late and are stuck waiting until the next available flight. Here he is forced to endure this young woman’s stories, until she reveals a secret that piques his interest.

A Perfect Enemy takes place for the most part in an airport, except for the stories described to Jeremiasz by this insistent presence. The unlikely named Texel Textor is the driving force of their interactions, brash and repellent, but there is no escape from her – he would know: as one of the architects behind this airports design.

There is a small model that credits Jeremiasz in the lounge, plotting the layout of the terminal but impossibly including miniatures of our two conversationalists. An enigmatic diorama that reminds of the hedge maze in The Shining, but the bigger mystery here is why Jeremiasz entertains her at all in the first place.

Texel is established as a nuisance, rattling off childhood anecdotes much to the annoyance of her poor victim, when she confesses to murder however, he leans in. The flip-flop of their dynamic is hard to believe and stay invested in, but there are many unlikely details that become forgivable as the film plays out.

When the momentum of the revelations picks up, there is less time to get hung up on plausibility, and so it becomes more thrilling until the pay off. Or maybe just like Jeremiasz forced to listen until interested, it’s a matter of Stockholm syndrome.

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