Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Dir: Brian De Palma

I love Brian De Palma, I really do, but at this point in time it had been almost twenty years since he'd directed a truly great film (Carlito's Way), although I still enjoyed the rather silly Snake Eyes and Mission to Mars. It had been nearly six years since his last film and the synopsis of Passion really did sound like he was going back to doing what he did best. Unfortunately, this film feels like it was made by someone who had the intention of parodying a Brian De Palma thriller, rather than looking like the real deal. My goodness it's awful. Every scene, no matter where it was set, was lit with striped shadows, as if sunlight was constantly coming through open blinds, like that's enough for it to have been a noir thriller. It really is a case of Fisher Price attempting Giallo and even though the hard-core De Palma fan declared it was something only his truest of fans would understand, I think even the rosiest of rose-tinted glasses can't overlook just how amateur the whole thing is. Unless of course I have misunderstood films of his such as Dressed to Kill and Body Double as being cheesy tongue-in-cheek sex comedies? I am well aware, I think, of De Palma's uniquely abstract and oblique shifts in tone that made him so popular in the first place but this is an older director failing to match his previous work, I know how cruel that sounds, and I do love De Palma, but I'm afraid it's the truth. 2006's The Black Dahlia had De Palma written all over it but even then, he limped out a just below average noir-thriller that was all looks and no substance. He has a cult following, I get why people like him, I like him, but there is nothing of merit to this film, not aesthetically, not in performance and certainly not in script. Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace are good actors but you wouldn't know it from their performances here but then they don't have much to work with. I realize the film is an adaptation/remake of Alain Corneau's 2010 French thriller Love Crime but I can't help but think something has been lost in translation and the different ending certainly isn't an improvement, in that it makes no sense at all. It's contrived, ridiculous, unconvincing, dated, laughable and god-awful in every way possible. It's like a Mills & Boon romantic thriller brought to life but a million times worse than it sounds.

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