Directed by Brian De Palma
It has been five years since renowned director Brian De Palma released a film, and this year he is back with the acrimonious erotic thriller Passion.
The film is an American remake of the 2010 film Love Crime and follows two successful businesswomen working in a prestigious Berlin advertising company. Christine (a wickedly mean performance from Rachel McAdams) is a fashionable albeit cutthroat business executive who uses her meek and ambitious lackey, Isabelle (Noomi Rapace), in order to get ahead in the company. However, Isabelle doesn’t seem to mind as much since she is having an affair with Christine’s boyfriend (Paul Anderson) right under her nose.
Yet, when Christine blatantly steals Isabelle’s idea for a high paying advertising campaign, it becomes a malicious battle of the wits as the ladies try to destroy each other’s lives, and their feud gets taken one step too far when a murder is committed.
Passion is sure to divide audiences as it’s an erotic, sexually-amped thriller ironically aimed towards women and for the fact that the film races past plot holes in order to accommodate and embrace De Palma’s unique directorial style reminiscent of his work from the early to late Seventies era.
Viewers expecting Bound or Diabolique will feel ripped off since the film hardly provides the sexy goods that the trailer hinted at. In fact, there are far more gratuitous shots of high heel shoes than moments of girl-on-girl action. Although that doesn’t take away from the sensual, explicit and Euro-trash feel of the movie, it will sadly go unappreciated from horny, avid fan boys expecting to see lesbian scissoring action, which is fine since De Palma has clearly made this film more for the enjoyment of female viewers anyway.
Fans of early De Palma will rejoice in the climactic finale that manages to incorporate nods from multiple classics from the renowned director that include Sisters, Dressed To Kill and Carrie. While fans will appreciate this, viewers unfamiliar with the director’s work and style will definitely feel out-of-place, especially when it comes to the enigmatic conclusion of the film.
Passion is an impressive film that makes no concessions to the audience. The film’s intricate, dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream structure and abstract style, which combines gaudy surrealism with often satirical moments of eroticism, requires a level of audience devotion from De Palma enthusiasts that few contemporary directors are bold enough to demand.
4 out of 5