Small Screen Reviews
Who’s In It?
Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades Of Grey 1-3, A Bigger Splash, & more recently How To Be Single)
Tilda Swinton (The Beach, We Need To Talk About Kevin, & more recently Doctor Strange)
Other notables include:
Angela Winkler (The Tin Drum, Ediths Tagebuch, Clouds Of Sils Maria)
Sylvie Testud (Beyond Silence, Karnaval, La Vie En Rose)
Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, Let Me In, & more recently The Equalizer)
Director: Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash, & more recently Call Me By Your Name)
After the deserved success of Call Me By Your Name, Luca Guadagnino has taken on quite the challenge with his revamp of the Dario Argento classic horror. And he has certainly given himself plenty of time to take on the challenge, with a somewhat ponderous and fairly indulgent 2.5 hours.
Pivoting the action to 1970's Berlin, a divided city with groups like Baader Meinhoff involved in terrorist activities, the backdrop is a tense, bleak and grey palette. American hopeful Susie Bannion, played by Dakota Johnson, interviews to join a world renowned dance troupe in Berlin, run by Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton). As luck would have it, she has exactly what it takes, and even more fortunately, the lead, one Patricia, has suffered some sort of breakdown, joined the terrorists, and left the group, thereby allowing Bannion to pretty much axel turn her way into the main role.
Yet it would seem that everything is not what it seems at the troupe, with strange goings on and peculiar behaviour from performers and teachers alike, building, extremely slowly, to its bloodsoaked dance denouement.
Dakota Johnson delivers a fine yet unremarkable performance, perhaps deliberately, as the lead, while Tilda Swinton takes on many guises, some of which work like Madame Blanc, some of which don’t thanks to the prosthetics, and one of which is laughable as she seems to embody Tubs from League Of Gentlemen in the final act. The dance routines are great, and the absence of colour contrasts brilliantly with the visceral reds later in the film, while mention must be made of Thom Yorke’s haunting soundtrack, but in truth Guadagnino may have bitten off more than he can chew, with an intriguing, but ultimately overblown and self-indulgent revamp.
In A Nutshell:
A visual feast with a cracking score, but in truth it is a little self-indulgent and overblown.
The look and feel of the film
Its enormous length and overindulgent nature
Release date: 07/10/2019