Watch Daguerrotype

  • NR
  • 2017
  • 2 hr 11 min
  • 5.7  (986)

Daguerrotype is a French-Japanese co-production directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, known for his horror films such as Pulse (2001) and Creepy (2016). The film tells a haunting story of obsession and loss through the medium of photography. Set in modern-day Paris, the film revolves around the character of Jean (Tahar Rahim), a young man who takes on a job as an assistant to a reclusive photographer named Stéphane (Olivier Gourmet). Stéphane is a practitioner of daguerreotype, an early photographic process invented in the 19th century that involves exposing an image onto a silver-coated copper plate. He is perhaps the last person in the world still using this technique, which is notoriously difficult and time-consuming.

Jean is initially fascinated by the artistry and mystique surrounding Stéphane's work, but soon discovers a darker side to his employer's world. Stéphane is obsessed with his late wife, who died mysteriously some years earlier, and has been using the daguerreotype process to capture her image. He spends hours in his darkroom, working on the same plate over and over again, trying to perfect the image of his beloved. Jean is drawn into this obsessive quest, and becomes increasingly entangled in Stéphane's past and present.

Complicating matters is the presence of Stéphane's daughter, Marie (Constance Rousseau), who is a model for her father's daguerreotypes. Marie is beautiful and mysterious, and at first Jean is as enamored with her as he is with her father's work. But as he learns more about the family's history, he realizes that Marie holds secrets of her own.

The film is gorgeously shot, with Kurosawa and his cinematographer Alexis Kavyrchine using the daguerreotype process itself as a visual motif. The film has a dreamlike quality, with scenes and images bleeding into each other in a way that blurs the line between reality and imagination. The use of sound is also notable, with the film relying heavily on ambient noise and silence to create a sense of unease and suspense.

The performances are strong across the board. Rahim brings a vulnerability and empathy to his role as Jean, who serves as the audience's surrogate in this strange world of daguerreotypes and obsessions. Gourmet is menacing and melancholic as Stéphane, a man who has given up everything for his art. But it's Rousseau who really steals the show as Marie, a character who is both alluring and enigmatic.

At its core, Daguerrotype is a meditation on the nature of photography and its relationship to memory and loss. Stéphane's obsession with his wife's image is both beautiful and grotesque, a testament to the power of the photographic image to preserve and distort reality. The film also explores themes of grief, family dynamics, and the ways in which we hold onto the past.

While the film is slow-paced and may not appeal to audiences looking for a traditional horror film, Daguerrotype is a haunting and visually stunning work that rewards patience and immersion. Kurosawa has created a film that lingers in the mind long after the credits have rolled, a testament to the power of cinema to evoke emotion and challenge our perceptions of reality.

Daguerrotype is a 2017 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 11 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7.

Where to Watch Daguerrotype
Daguerrotype is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent Daguerrotype for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 11 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.7  (986)