Director: Brian DePalma
Writer: Brian DePalma and Natalie Carter
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Paul Anderson and Rainer Bock
Studio: Entertainment One
“Passion” is a throwback to the 1970’s when directors were all trying to imitate the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. Brian De Palma is quite a high profile director himself, often put up on a pedestal with Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. He can be innovate but sometimes we can go a little too far with experimental framing and different editing techniques. How much does it enhance the story to use split screens in the scenes that he does?
DePalma proves to be the master of the erotic thriller once again. Not since “Femme Fatale” have we seen his return to the modern murder mystery/thriller. Basically, what you have in “Passion” is a shot for shot retelling of “Love Crime” with some minor changes and a classic DePalma ending accompanied by Pino Donagio’s “Dressed to Kill” score blaring, with actions speaking for the characters instead of words. Minor changes have been made, and for the better. The ending is a twist where as in “Love Crime” the killer is immediately revealed. The subplot with Isabel’s sister has been taken out and further developed into Isabel’s assistant’s character, who is now a woman, and love-struck, too.
Scenes filmed with dutch angles and unusual shadows to register as dream but they are real. A split-screen that lies about its timeline. A scene set-up to be viewed as hallucinative dream but it’s a flash back. And later we know it was an untrusted narration. Many others will make a more streamlined, more exciting thriller, but no one is so committed to expose cinematic illusion like DePalma. He doesn’t hit deep, because the illusion is not wrapped around character but around plot, that is always the tradeoff with him. A tradeoff I am willing to make, because I can find more introspective filmmakers elsewhere.
RELEASE DATE: 08/01/2013