Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Personal Shopper’ (2017)

IFC Films

IFC Films

Noise – clanging, sudden, with threads that potentially reach beyond the earthly realm – can grate both on one’s nerves and the psyche. In Personal Shopper, directed by Olivier Assayas, Maureen (Kristen Stewart) is at the receiving end of such missives –smoky visuals and teleportation of household items are also involved – which throw her in a limbo of her own making.

Maureen, an American who lives in Paris, earns a living as a personal high-fashion shopper, incessantly lugging bags of clothing on her motorbike. The contract she’s got with her employer, a high-maintenance socialite, includes a strict “no-trying-on-garments” policy.

But Maureen has a more personal arrangement going on. Her twin, Lewis, has recently died from a heart ailment – as his sibling in the womb, Maureen may carry that genetic proclivity – and he had promised he would reach her from the other side after he passed.

What would logically be a comforting incident – a beloved occult-loving brother signaling her optimistically in his afterlife that all is well – takes on more sinister tones.

IFC Films

IFC Films

Is Maureen’s faith an issue? Or is her separation of the physical and non-corporeal realms the better option? Maybe her thing with Lewis was simply going to be a one-off twinning communication. But now is there more to what lies beyond than she’d figured when she was just trying to provide self-solace?

Archetypal Neptune – whose domain is ghosts and belief in the unseen – carries Personal Shopper. The pieces of clothing she handles – but which are, on another level, forbidden – are telling. Yes, she may ultimately violate the agreement with her employer and enfold herself in them. But is this how she comes to grips with whether specters – Lewis or whoever’s trying to contact her – exist?

Archetype: Ghost. Hauntings.

Astrology Archetype: ♆  (Neptune)


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