DE PALMA TURNED MATERIAL INTO "A WORK OF ART TOTALLY OF HIS OWN DESIGN"
John Kenneth Muir posted his review of Brian De Palma's Passion today, stating that De Palma "corkscrews" Alain Corneau's Love Crime, "and in the process creates a work of art totally of his own design, one that focuses intently on the ideas of narcissism and voyeurism in the Web 2.0 Age." SPOILERS - Muir further writes that "Passion is a thriller about blackmail, extortion, and one-upmanship in the epoch of the 'Send Button,' when one flick of a finger can ruin a career, destroy a life, or send someone to jail for murder. Specifically, Passion is veritably obsessed with the vindictive release of private or guarded information into the public arena, and the catastrophic fall-out and public humiliation that occurs in its aftermath. It is this public humiliation, and fear of such humiliation, that leads to the film’s double murders."
Muir later delves into Christine's story about her sister:
The key to understanding Passion rests with Christine, the character played to icy perfection by Rachel McAdams.
Early in the film, she recounts to Isabelle a story about her twin-sister, Clarissa. Specifically Clarissa was killed because of Christine’s actions. Christine was riding a bike when she was distracted by the bike’s mirror, and an oncoming truck hit the girls. Only Christine survived.
"I just wanted to see myself…and I saw my reflection," Christine reports of the tragedy.
Another scene reveals that Christine keeps a creepy white mask -- one that is molded to resemble her facial features -- because, again, she wants to "see" herself.
And in the absence of her twin, that is not always easy.
Accordingly, Christine goes through the film and through her life attempting to re-make others in the image she wants to see: her own. In particular, this means that Christine creates "users" and "manipulators" like herself, and indeed, that’s the journey Isabelle takes in the film. She goes from being a relatively normal person to a competitive player, to a monster who becomes Christine’s "double" and equal. By film’s end, she has been re-fashioned in Christine’s desired image, but she is not able to handle it, perhaps because she possesses the conscience Christine abundantly lacks."