Reviews

Passion

3

De Palma goes to work...

Gorgeous women, glossy lipstick, splashy lighting, ludicrous plotting, gleaming architecture, PinoDonaggio score, split screen... 

Brian De Palma’s baroque remake of French thriller Love Crime is a return to the outlandish genre outings he designed in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

Rachel McAdams is Christine, the boss of a Berlin advertising firm who nurtures her protégée, Isabelle, played by Noomi Rapace. 

Their bond is close – so close they threaten to tumble into bed – but that doesn’t stop Christine from stealing the credit for Isabelle’s smart ideas.

In return, Isabelle sleeps with Christine’s boyfriend (Paul Anderson) and a war of attrition escalates to murder.

Though a good deal tamer than both the trailer and De Palma’s previous work suggests(the girl-on-girl action consists of a chaste kiss; there’s a single splash of gore) Passion maxesout on style. 

The shadow of German Expressionism looms over the secondhalf of the picture, angles tilting and bars of light turning elaborate compositions into jail cells, while a scene set at the Deutsche Oper Berlin literalises the operatics.

Come the bonkers climax, the action’s hit such a fever pitch it’s hard to tell where the deliriousdream sequences start and end. 

OK, so there’s nothing below the surface and you’re better offviewing De Palma’s original Hitchcock/giallo pastiches Obsession, Dressed To Killand Body Double. 

But Passion’s a lot of fun – not least because McAdams hits the bitch-switchfor the first time since Mean Girls.

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