Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 3:20 AM CST
I've visited France last weekend to finally watch PASSION. It's a entertaining movie and plays really well with dreams and reality.
But I suggest to all De Palma fans that they lower their expectations drastically. It's the first time in my life as a passionate De Palma fan that I thought the critics are to generous to one of his movies.
While I liked the story, the performances and the few ambitioned parts I couldn't believe that this was a movie directed by Brian De Palma.
The whole movie has the look of a european TV movie. Even if it's not the budget De Palma was used to work with I've seen many movies with lower budgets that looked like they were made for the cinema. I suppose it's becausethose who made had ambition and wanted to show the world what they were capable of. Or they simply cared.
Most of the movie plays in ugly rooms and consists of dialogue scenes, filmed in shot reverse-shot. (I don't exaggerate.)
In so many scenes I started to think »They should have given this movie to Brian De Palma, he would have made something really great with this.«
For example, Geoff posted a picture of the Sony Centre in Berlin many months ago, a huge complex of buildings made of glass and steel. If you've ever been there you couldn't believe what boring and ugly shots De Palma choose to use this location.
I was so interested in what a master visual stylist like De Palma would do with the rich architecture in Berlin. Nothing.
Don't mention the ad agency, I doubt that they could get great talents to work in these rooms. I live in a small German city and you would have found more believable, stylish ad agency sets here.
I doubt that many of you can get anything out of the split screen sequence. It's like he had this on his list and shot it fast and without any ambition only to have it in this movie. I can't say more about this because I don't want to spoil anything.
The great smartphone ad has the look and feel of a amateur porn movie, not that of a great viral marketing spot. I don't know of this was part of the »dark comedy«. Maybe.
I know, it's sounds really harsh, but I really couldn't believe that Brian De Palma was on the set, saw these scenes at the monitor and said: »Yes, this is the best I can get, you couldn't light or shoot this better and you won't find a better location for it.«
So I'm not on the side of those who say that he made a good movie out of a weak script. The script isn't perfect, but it was the part that made the film entertaining for me, together with good performances from the leads.
I've watched FEMME FATALE and PREMIUM RUSH in a double feature afterwards to get me back on track.