This static tale of a prostitute's final days will be quickly relegated to history's mountain of non-noteworthy firsts.
Musicvid helmer Salim El Turk’s “My Last Valentine in Beirut” may get mileage as the pioneer 3D film in Arabic, but this static tale of a prostitute’s final days will be quickly relegated to history’s mountain of non-noteworthy firsts. Shot with a fixed camera and looking, not in a good way, like a lurid version of a stereoscopic photo, “Valentine” could recycle the Jane Russell 3D tagline “It’ll knock both your eyes out!” since star Lorraine Kodeih’s physical attributes are about the only standout element here. This is one for the record books, not the account ledgers.
The body of prostitute Juliette (Kodeih) is found following her suicide by a couple of vulgar cops. Flashback to Juliette addressing the camera, telling the viewers/johns what she thinks they want to hear, in three different scenarios. Thereafter, she’s seen with various clients, at first gamely playing along but then becoming fed up with the life. Kodeih never stops posturing, increasing the tedium generated by the fixed camera setups. El Turk may be trying to say something about the absurdity of Lebanese life, but any message is lost in the murky, uninventive visuals.