The ending to Passion was less than satisfying!
Brian De Palma is a director I have followed for many a year, and was one of the first to have caught my attention, after seeing Scarface in 1983. I decided to find out all I could about De Palma and realised I knew his work already with Carrie, The Fury and Dressed to Kill being the three released before the story of Tony Montana hit the screens. He is a director I could understand and really appreciate his ability to converse via his movies to his audience on their level, but also be stylish and cool. His films speak to me on an intellectual level that the likes of Terrence Malick or Lars von Trier can never do, with their elusive deep meanings and hidden messages. De Palma’s films can indeed be deep yet always to an attainable level and I’m sure most film lovers would agree … right up until they watched this remake of Crime d’amour. I in no way imply I didn’t like this movie, on the contrary, I enjoyed it immensely, but I never took De Palma for the self indulgent type, that are not uncommon in other filmmakers, like that other maker of gangster classics Francis Ford Coppola.
I haven’t seen Crime d’amour but it would be interesting to see how they differ in style and execution, but I can’t see myself going out of my way. Passion is about jealousy, greed, ambition and a few other human failings that make fascinating viewing, but not one of the characters were anyone you would ever want to know in real life. A bunch of oversexed, backstabbing, selfish people that get what they deserve and deserve what they get. I am sure it’s possible to enjoy a movie without a single person being likable but with this crowds behaviour, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Even the supposed good people weren’t worth liking as they weren’t on screen long enough, like the detective investigating the case. I don’t remember ever not liking Rachel McAdams in anything, never mind a Brian De Palma flick but that was certainly the case here. The characters were, admittedly, very interesting and did make you want to know more about them, but the way the director has paced everything it never gets allowed to happen. I didn’t like the pacing at all.
I loved the cinematography by José Luis Alcaine (The Skin I Live In) and also the overall look and feel of the movie, and I even like the story itself. But it was hard to like a lot of things in this film, and I realise that most of the blame for any dislike must fall on De Palma’s shoulders. My main concern was with the ending. It is ok ending a movie in a way that is open to interpretation, but if you make a film where no one cares about any of the characters, the way they interpret it may not be close to the way intended, leaving them unsatisfied with what they see. I was definitely satisfied with the finished movie but not with the ending.
Review by Ed Blackadder