Angel (Un Ange)

A beach side proposal of marriage equates to a ticket out of a lifetime of poverty in Angel (Un Ange), a film with more than a few tricks up its sleeves as two individuals from wildly different places meet and fall in love. 

"is a movie with three-dimensional characters and a plot which sees them trying to rise above their circumstances or, at least, enjoy their last grasp of life before it spirals into an expected catastrophe of the inevitable"

This is a movie that is both hypnotizing in its rollout thanks to its solid cinematography from Nicolas Karakatsani.  Some scenes are so on-point they are close to poetry and the film basks in that vision of sound and vision.  Angel (Un Ange) is an intoxicating story about two people and the night they spend together, wishing on every star they can find in the night sky. But then something goes suddenly so sideways that it will leave you questioning everything.

Because what could a Senegalese prostitute and a washed-up cyclist have in common?

Based on the novel Monologue of Someone Who Got Used to Talking to Herself by acclaimed Belgian author Dimitri Verhulst, Angel takes its one night of romance down a twisted road of tragic events as the BLUE MOOD in the lighting sweeps over our two central characters.  It takes about 40-minutes for them to meet, but the chemistry is electric as hints of their stories are sprinkled throughout the overheard conversations. 

It is no wonder they fall so hard for each other, yet there is something tugging at the seams which threatens to break it all apart.  Look at the tangled cinematography.  There is intent there.  This is where that handheld cinematography which is used explicitly throughout the film absolutely takes your breath away.  The tragedy becomes telescoped as each and every scene from here on out suggesting that their brief encounter is doomed.

You see it only takes Thierry (Vincent Rottiers), a world-famous Tour de France competitor moments to fall head over heels in love with Fae (Fatou N’diaye), a prostitute in Senegal, but it is an incredible night of sharing mutual desires full of dignity and hope.  WE are invited to fall in love along with them.  Think they have nothing in common?  Think again.  There is a commonality in what they do to their bodies in order to be the best in their fields. Angel (Un Ange)

Fae calls herself a gazelle.  She’s tall, graceful, and full of all the right moves.  She is definitely not a prostitute, but her presence is made known to Thierry who, by all indications, has fallen so completely for her beauty that there’s no way out.  At first glance, he’s all in and we, as audience members, should be, too.  

The truth is that their fates are already plotted as Thierry starts behaving strangely, under the influence of substances, and the toxic side of his personality comes roaring out.  It is terrifying and, as he isn’t depicted as the villain, he is definitely the broken man who takes it all out on the woman who shares his bed with him.  Fae might be in love, but she’s got to get out before it is too late . . . 

. . . but the next morning arrives and, yes, it is far, far too late.  With Thierry dead and her arrest certainly guaranteed, Fae has to figure out her next steps in order to be everybody’s "Angel", including her own.

Written and directed by Koen Mortier, Angel is a movie with three-dimensional characters and a plot which sees them trying to rise above their circumstances or, at least, enjoy their last grasp of life before it spirals into an expected catastrophe of the inevitable.  It is both beautiful and heartbreaking because of its content, but it is one that, once started, you simply can’t turn off.  That’s how intoxicating and engrossing this Angel is.

Angel releases in virtual theaters June 25 via Laemmle from Oration.

4/5 stars

Film Details

Angel (Un Ange)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
105 mins
: Koen Mortier
Koen Mortier
Vincent Rottiers, Fatou N'Diaye, Paul Bartel
: Drama | Romance

Memorable Movie Quote:
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 25, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: ANGEL (aka 'Un Ange’) follows the encounter of a prostitute, Fae, and a world-famous athlete, Thierry. During his vacation in Senegal, he falls head over heels for the African beauty. They find dignity and hope with each other in order to get out of their troublesome situations.  But more important than these mutual desires, they found love. Until, later in the evening, Thierry starts behaving strangely, under the influence of substances. Fae is forced to leave him but when she discovers that Thierry has passed away the next morning, she’s arrested despite her innocence. To move on with her life, she must return to the place where it all started. 


Angel (Un Ange)