Brian De Palma’s Passion starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace premiered in theaters last August 30th 2013. This new mystery film revolves around the dangerous game of dog-eat-dog in the international business between two women who want to make on top. Passion is about the rivalry between a manipulative boss of an advertising agency and her talented protégée. This rivalry escalates from stealing credit, public humiliation and eventually leads to murder. Check out the latest movie review for Passion below:
“It’s All Business in Brian De Palma’s Passion
“There’s no back-stabbing here. It’s just business.” That line is uttered twice in Brian De Palma’s “Passion,” once disingenuously, once sarcastically, even though it is, literally speaking, true. A slashed throat is not the same as a stabbed back. And the kinky, convoluted plot is all about business if you expand the definition to include romantic obsession, sexual jealousy and sadomasochistic mind games.
And why not? The modern workplace can be a dull and dutiful place, where cutthroat competition is masked by smiley team spirit. So there is something refreshing about the way Mr. De Palma infuses the sterile, gleaming Berlin offices of a global advertising firm with his high-toned, elegant naughtiness. “Passion” is a swirl of bright color and arresting compositions, many of them involving red lipstick, high-heeled shoes, fancy lingerie, expensive Champagne and other venerable tenets of the Playboy Philosophy.
Which is not to accuse the film of old-fashioned sexism, exactly. Its misogyny is the kind that can plausibly masquerade as feminism, and “Passion” is interesting precisely insofar as it succeeds in scrambling the distinction. Remaking a French thriller by Alain Corneau (called “Love Crime” in English and released in the United States in 2011), Mr. De Palma imagines a corporate — and an erotic — landscape in which women are dominant and submissive, predators and prey.
Christine, a rising executive played by Rachel McAdams, alternately nurtures, betrays, humiliates and makes passes at Isabelle (Noomi Rapace), her spooked, passive (or perhaps passive-aggressive) underling. Isabelle trembles in fear, plots revenge and visits her own version of good-boss, bad-boss psychological warfare on her assistant, Dani (Karoline Herfurth). Their three-way tangle is less a love triangle than a cat-and-mouse game with shifting roles. It is also an exercise in color coding, inviting us to ponder stereotypical ideas about blondes, brunettes and redheads, and also to admire the cinematic properties of hair.
The few men around, apart from the silver-haired suits who watch the game (and occasionally, perhaps unwittingly, manipulate the players) are mostly fools and patsies. One is a skinny, unshaven fellow named Dirk (Paul Anderson), who sleeps with Christine and Isabelle and pays dearly for his pleasures. Another is Inspector Bach (Rainer Bock), an earnest German detective with the unhappy task of unraveling a murder that does less than you might think to resolve the cat-and-mouse question.
I would not be so gauche as to identify the victim, though the crime is neither entirely a surprise nor exactly a mystery. It does allow Mr. De Palma to revisit some of his longstanding preoccupations: with characters who double each other; with deceit and disguise; with mirrors, corridors, wigs and staircases. Pino Donaggio’s vivid, sensuous, perversely jaunty musical score emphasizes the almost campy artifice of the drama, which is played out by actors who rarely seem to believe what they are saying.”
Click here to read the rest of the review at The New York Times.
Check out the rest of this week’s “Suspense” movies right in this blog.