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DVD Review: Passion

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In this remake of the French 2011 crime thriller, legendary director Brian (Scarface, Dressed to Kill) DePalma returns to team up with actresses Noomi (Prometheus, Millennium) Rapace, Rachel (Mean Girls, The Time Traveler's Wife) McAdams, and Karoline (Perfume, We are the Night) Herfurth to tell a tale that is part Hitchcock, part Lynch, and all DePalma. Some viewers might be turned off by this artistic approach to a very basic whodunit murder mystery, but fans of the director's lengthy (albeit spotty) career will be pleasantly surprised at his handle on such a story.

The general plot of the film involves advertising agency hazing that heats up once the sexually-charged woman in charge resorts to bullying and pushing her coworker (and friend) to her boiling point. The film as almost too artistic for its own good and will no doubt lose half of its audience by the time the first hour rolls past, but for those who are familiar with DePalma's work, the ending is everything. All is explained and the motivations are questioned. And, as per usual, no one is safe.

A powerful trio of performances by all three leading ladies, this film falls slightly short this time. Not due to the remake factor, nor the multiple twist endings or convoluted (yet rational and easily-followed) plot points, but rather for its utter and complete melodrama. The film, unfortunately, never feels realistic or plausible. This is no fault of the actresses. They all do a superb job with the script they are given. It's the music. Distracting, out of place, and unfortunately, overshadowing the director's style and the actresses' each and every turn throughout the entirety of the film. This was supposed to be DePalma's comeback. It would appear that he's not quite there yet. But if we've learned anything over the years, it's to never count him out. He'll be back. And this one had all of the elements of a classic DePalma masterpiece. Unfortunately, the music ruined the film and the basic plot just wasn't enough to hold a general audience's attention.