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Mister Foe DVD Review: Fetish, Voyeurism And Mommy Love

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A movie about a Scottish peeping Tom who is sufficiently demented to give even Peeping Toms a bad name, Scott Mackenzie's Mister Foe seems to be a lot less about voyeurism itself, than warped emotional espionage as pathological mommy love. And in the case of poor little rich kid Hallam Foe (Jamie Bell), Mom is quite dead but lives on in Hallam's ritualistic dressup and makeup belonging to the deceased woman. And in conjunction with his spying, even zooming in with binoculars from a treehouse perch on couples making love.

Hallam is also afflicted with a serious case of arrested development, a privileged but aimless youth who refuses to leave the comfortable country nest now occupied by a docile dad (Ciaran Hinds) and his much younger striking but cunning new trophy wife, Verity. Convinced that Verity murdered his mother by spiking her drink with sleeping pills, even though the authorities declared it a suicide by drowning, Hallam finally confronts his stepmother with these accusations, at which point she seduces him after socking him in the groin, causing Hallam to promptly flee the estate.

Arriving in Edinburgh a complete stranger to the city, Hallam sleeps in the streets and wakes up one morning with a rat about to chew on his face. He also has an uncommon knack for effortlessly leaping around rooftops, thanks to more than a few impressive physical moves Jamie Bell picked up while playing the exceptionally acrobatic Billy Elliot.

By now you'd think existence for this combo stalker/gawker Peeping Foe would be entirely idyllic, with countless windows presenting themselves from every direction. But Hallam has set his sights literally on Kate (Sophia Myles) a deceptively prim, beautiful older woman he encounters on the street who happens to look exactly like his departed mom. Hallam follows Kate to the hotel where she works, gets himself hired there as a dishwasher, does lots of followup peeping into her window while she's in bed with her married boyfriend, and persists until Kate agrees to have sex with him too. But she really warms up to the idea only after finding out just how unwholesome the lad is, because she confesses to having a weakness for 'creepy guys.'

You may be wondering at this point if Mister Foe is becoming much too far fetched for its own good, with Bell's gravity-defying airborne stunts across Edinburgh's urban skyline the least of it. Though the engaging style of this bizarre fetishistic tale compensates for its improbability, aided in part by its bold emotional intensity, along with a dynamic soundtrack incorporating Junior Boys, Clinic, Orange Juice, Juana Molina and Franz Ferdinand.

Magnolia Home Entertainment
Rated R
2 stars

DVD Features: Widescreen, Optional Spanish Subtitles, Keep Case.

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

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