Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Passion (3 Stars)


There's no backstabbing here. It's just business.

This quote, so significant that it's repeated twice in the film, doesn't mean what it says. What it really means is "There's a lot of backstabbing here, but get over it, in business it happens all the time".

Only two actresses made it onto the poster, but it's actually a tale of three women. Christine (Rachel McAdams) is the head of the Berlin branch of an international advertising company. Isabelle (Noomi Rapace) and Dani (Karoline Herfurth) are top employees who work for her. Christine is seriously screwed up. When she has sex with men she fucks them with a strap-on, while making them wear a mask and blonde wig so that she thinks she is fucking herself. That's an extraordinary form of narcissism.

Isabelle has an idea for a big advertising campaign, which she films together with Dani. Christine presents it to the New York bosses as her own idea. At the first possible opportunity Isabelle lets them know that she thought it up. A vicious rivalry develops between the two women, which is complicated by the fact that they desire one another. Apart from that, Isabelle has had an affair with Christine's boyfriend Dirk. And Dani is in love with Isabelle. It's a love triangle between the three women, with Dirk as a drunken buffoon in the middle of them.

Christine is found dead in her apartment. Isabelle is blamed, even though she swears she's innocent. Did she do it or not?

This is a remake of the 2010 French film "Love Crime". As film flops go, this film is up there with the best. The film's budget was $30 million, but it only earned $1.3 million at the box office. It's difficult to see where the money was spent. The film looks and feels like a cheap made-for-television movie. Director Brian de Palma is obviously trying to emulate Alfred Hitchcock's cinematography in his close-ups and camera angles, but it seems awkward rather than artistic. As erotic thrillers go the lead actresses are very un-erotic. They're pretty, but not sexy.

Noomi Rapace kisses Rachel McAdams.
Noomi Rapace kisses Karoline Herfurth.
Rachel McAdams kisses Karoline Herfurth.
All these kisses took place in the office during working hours. I wish I worked in the advertising industry. I wouldn't mind being the drunken buffoon in the middle, waiting to be used when the women have stopped kissing one another.

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