Personal Shopper (2016) Movie Review and Ending Explained


The Review (Spoiler Free)

“Personal Shopper” is a film that defies easy categorization, blending elements of psychological thriller, drama, and the supernatural into a unique cinematic experience. Directed by Olivier Assayas, this enigmatic film reunites him with actress Kristen Stewart, who delivers a riveting performance as Maureen, a personal shopper to a high-profile celebrity and a medium seeking to connect with her deceased twin brother.

The film opens with Maureen’s arrival at her late brother’s Parisian home, where she attempts to make contact with his spirit. This quest for a sign from beyond sets the tone for a movie that is as much about the search for meaning in the afterlife as it is about the exploration of one’s identity in the wake of profound loss. Stewart portrays Maureen with a nuanced depth, capturing the character’s internal struggle between her rational self and her longing for the ethereal connection she shared with her brother.

Assayas masterfully crafts a narrative that is both intimate and unsettling, using long, drawn-out scenes that build tension and immerse the audience in Maureen’s solitary world. The film’s atmosphere is one of eerie stillness punctuated by moments of intense emotion, reflecting the protagonist’s fluctuating state of mind. The use of text messages as a narrative device adds a modern twist to the ghost story, creating a sense of immediacy and intimacy while also heightening the sense of mystery.

The fashion backdrop serves as a stark contrast to the film’s supernatural elements, grounding the story in the material world while simultaneously highlighting Maureen’s disconnection from it. Her interactions with the ephemeral world of high fashion mirror her attempts to reach the intangible realm of spirits, drawing parallels between the two and questioning the nature of presence and absence.

Critics have praised “Personal Shopper” for its bold storytelling and Stewart’s compelling performance, which earned her high acclaim. The film’s ability to maintain a gripping narrative while delving into themes of grief, loneliness, and the supernatural has resonated with audiences and critics alike, making it a standout piece in both Assayas’s and Stewart’s careers.

“Personal Shopper” is a thought-provoking film that lingers with the viewer long after the credits roll. It challenges conventional genre boundaries and invites contemplation on the connections between the living and the dead, the seen and the unseen, and the tangible and the intangible. For those seeking a film that combines the cerebral with the spectral, “Personal Shopper” is a must-watch.

Ending Explained (Spoiler Alert!)

Personal shopper has very ambiguous and confusing ending.  The movies doesn’t clearly explains the ending and it was done purposely by the director to make the audience think and engaging in discussion.

There are few big question that is not clearly explained.  Who is the mysterious person who is sending the text to Maureen?  Who killed Kyra (Maureen’s boss)?  Did the Maureen’s brother revealed himself to her?

There are two very poplar explanations of the ending.  First is the idea that Maureen was murdered at the hotel and became a ghost.  We do see a ghost leaving the hotel after the event.  The biggest problem is that, afterwards, she does interacts with two people, Lara, Maureen’s brother’s girl friend and Lara’s new boyfriend.

Other popular explanation is that the Maureen’s brother was with her the whole time and even protecting her from the killer at the hotel.  But the problem is that the spirit never really made it clear to her that it is her brother.  The spirit seems to be just toying with her.  The final scene was a good example.

The final scene is very confusing.  It appears that Maureen’s brother finally seems to be communicating with her.  Yet it continues to be toying with her and doesn’t exactly tell her that it was her brother.  The spirit does communicate with her with a knock.  One knock means “yes” and Two knock means “no” which Maureen got the idea from video she saw earlier in the movie.  But at the end, the Spirit seems to be telling her that everthing is in her head.  So the explanation that make sense is the fact that she is imagining everything and everything is just in her head.

First of all, I don’t think Maureen is a good medium.  She is inexperienced.  But she may believe that she is a gifted medium.  Earlier in the movie, Lara asked her if she has experience doing medium.  She couldn’t give her a good answer.  At the same time, since she is obsessed with her brother’s death, it is possible that she can easily make up stuff in her head and see things that wasn’t there.

Maybe what her boyfriend said was the truth.  He said that there is no such thing as ghost and she needs to move on with her life.  So the movie isn’t about her communicating with her brother’s ghost but it’s all about her struggle to finally letting go of her brother and moving on with her life.

So to answering the big question:

1) Who send the text to Maureen.  It is obvious that Kyra’s boyfriend, Ingo, was sending her text to let her think that it was her brother so he can frame the murder of Kyra.

2) What happened in the hotel?  It is obvious that Kyra’s boyfriend was going to kill her, But Maureen was step ahead. She coordinate with the cops to catch him in action.

3) Did the brother revealed himself to her? No, her brother was never there.  Because ghost doesn’t exist.

In the Nutshell

Although Personal Shopper has some potential, it fails short. If you are looking for good scare, you will be disappointed. [2 out of 5 stars]

I would like to know what you think of the movie. If you already saw this movie, help us rate the movie by click on the Star Rating

movie rating


Genre: Paranormal

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One comment

  1. This is a terrible article. Some of the things stated here are in direct contrast to what happened in the movie. Did you even watch it?


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