Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Love Crime

Couple of weeks ago, some of the first photos and a poster for a movie called Passion(2013) were released. Passion is going to be directed by Brian De Palma and stars Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace. This is going to be an American adaptation of a French thriller called Love Crime(2010) directed by Alain Corneau. This actually wasn't the first time I heard either Love Crime or Passion being mentioned somewhere since a fellow blogger, Alex Withrow @And So It Begins gave it a glowing review few months back and had been raving about it for quite some time now. Since it was available to stream on Netflix, it has been lying in my queue since I read Alex's review but like many other films in my queue, I did not get around to see it for whatever reason. However, after the smoking hot photos released couple of weeks ago, I finally sat down to watch it and Boy! Was I glad I did !!

I want to give as little of the story as possible because I think that it is best that you see it on screen and judge for yourself. So, Christine is a top executive in a company and has hired Isabelle, a competent young woman to assist her. Isabelle is actually really good at her job and she has proven her worth time and again by providing brilliant ideas that have helped them seal many business deals. However, she is quite naive for her own good and moreover Christine is extremely good at exploiting people, rather that is how she has reached where she is today. Isabelle is quite devoted to Christine, even though everyone who knows Christine at all describes her as selfish and cold-hearted and even chooses to ignore certain occasions in the past where she wasn't given credit for her own work. Film opens with a certain deal their company closes because of an idea Isabelle thinks of in the middle of night. However, Christine not only blatantly takes all the credit for it but also defends her doing so. ("You would have done the same in my position. At least I hope so" She says). Even though Isabelle is not really happy with her idea being used as Christine's, she is ready to let this one pass as Christine tries to convince her that she is trying to school her for making it big. However, couple of things happen at around the same time that make Isabelle change her decision and go for her own play. Unfortunately, things don't work as perfectly as she would have wanted and as a result obviously spite Christine. Christine, not the one to let go, uses every single opportunity to humiliate her, publicly and in person, professionally and personally. She even threatens Isabelle - "One little mistake in your work and I will use it to fire you". What happens in the remaining hour or so of the movie is something I will keep for you to see.

Most of the initial part of second half, Isabelle spends in doing presumably unrelated and weird things. We see her pruning her garden, visiting her doctor, walking to her office when it is pouring out and going to the movies. I was actually confused myself as to what exactly are they are trying to sell us here, apparently working their way towards climax but with no notion to viewer. At one point I even thought it is going in a direction I did not expect at all. But when it all comes together, and believe me It Does !!, it was worth all the wait. What I liked most about Love Crime is it is almost never clear what is going to happen next. Sometimes it even fools you to believe something you did not expect but then again it takes another turn and keeps going in different direction, keeping you glued to the screen at all times. There is also one climatic moment that appears at around hour mark and I was surprised to see 40 more minutes of movie. However, those 40 final minutes are easily most remarkable in the whole movie. Ludivine Sagnier was a revelation for me in this movie, especially brilliant in those last 40 minutes. She was perfect playing initial Isabelle almost worshiping Christine but she was even better as a psychotic Isabelle in the second half. Sagnier is just brilliant in this period. Kristin Scott Thomas is equally brilliant in her cold and heartless role of Christine. One of the very important things that make this movie work is their chemistry with each other. Right from the very first scene, there is a palpable tension and awkwardness in the frame and it just keeps on increasing with every turn of events and both these actresses deserve equal credit for that.

Without getting into the debate of whether a remake this early is warranted or not(I am usually of the opinion that it is not) or does this mean Hollywood is devoid of any originality anymore(an obvious exaggeration but something they need to think about), I am going to say that I am definitely interested in Passion. Association of Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace only adds to that. Rachel McAdams will be playing the role of Isabelle to Rapace's Christine. I am fairly confident that Rapace can be just as bad-ass as Kristin Scott-Thomas and hopefully just as nuanced. In case of McAdams, I can almost see her in initial dedicated but submissive protege. If only she can pull off cold, calculating Isabelle in second half, she can make this movie her's. I have always admired Rachel McAdams, and not just because she is really beautiful but because I do consider her to be quite good actress. Even though she is mostly known for her romantic roles, she has done quite a variety of roles in her career. And I know it is extremely premature to call anything yet, but from stills released, she looks right into the role which is always a good sign. However, none of them is my real concern. My only concern really is Brian De Palma 'Scarfacing' it, if only he can keep his flamboyance in check a little. As far as cinematography and camerawork is concerned, though lush, it is mostly very plain with no flairs in it. So, De Palma has a chance to try his hand and as long as he usually does, he doesn't overdo it, I think we will be fine.

Rating(out of 5):


  1. Fantastic review! I'm gonna check out the original later on this week. So great o hear Rapace will be playing the vilain, she is such a charismatic actress.

    1. Thanks Sati !! So, you are finally going to watch it ?? Nice. I hope you like it. And I am sure Rapace will be great in that role too.


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