Passion : Underrated masterpiece

Underrated masterpiece

I really thought this movie was one of Brian De Palma finest. A lot of people disliked it, perhaps because of the ambiguous ending, which is complicated and difficult to fully understand. Critics and audiences are apparently fine with this, if the director is called David Lynch, but for other directors, it's apparently not acceptable.
The movie,I think, shows us very succesfully the strugle for power and for love between its female characters, how they all want to be loved, but not to love. It also portrays how we can use technology to manipulate, control or hurt others.
I love that the film is full of product placement, but it fits the movie so well, because it's about the advertising industry, and depicts a shallow modern world.

The movie is absolutely gorgeous to look at, especially the dual screen ballet scene - classic De Palma!

Did this movie's ideas go completely over the head of the audience? I might be able to understand why some will dislike it, but I cannot understand why people who call themselves Brian De Palma fans can dislike this. How is it possible to love movies like Sisters, Dressed to Kill and Body Double, but dislike Passion. It's classic De Palma! Cheesy and over the top has always been what De Palma was about, and that's exactly what he does so well.

that'll be the day

Re: Underrated masterpiece

I've only seen it once but didn't find it very hard to follow. One simply had to pay attention. I actual didn't like the dual shoot on screen with the ballet simply as the ballet shoots where shoot poorly compared to what was happening on the right hand side and having them next to one another was for myself distracting as a result.


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Re: Underrated masterpiece

I agree; it's one of his most fun films to watch, and the David Lynch comparison is something I've frequently wondered on. Both directors obviously love Vertigo and reference it frequently, but only De Palma gets heat for it, even though Lynch's references are no less obvious. He went so far as to name Laura Palmer's brunette doppelganger Madeline Ferguson, after Vertigo's Madeline Elster and Scottie Ferguson. Passion is really, for me, that most rare of films: one where I was watching it and having no idea at all where it was going. I think if it had been made in the '70s or '80s (I know it's remake of a more recent film, so technically that's impossible), it would've found more of an audience. People seemed to enjoy these kinds of lurid dramas more in those days.

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Re: Underrated masterpiece

I think I liked this movie so much because De Palma used all his old tricks to actually trick the audience. Twins, split screen murder sequences, and dream sequences are all there. The big surprise is that those classic De Palma scenes are actually lies. You can't trust what you are seeing.
Spoilers****

When we see the split screen, we assume it's happening at the same time like in De Palma's Sisters. later you find out quite the opposite

The whole sob story about having a dead twin sister is another nod to Sisters. Now she could be real or a lie but we will never truly know

And for the dream sequences, they kind of blend together with reality and at the very end we see a dream sequence and Noomi Rapace's character waking from that dream only to realize we the audience, don't get to see what happened and like classic De Palma it ends with her waking up in sheer terror just like The end of Carrie and Dressed to Kill but this time the dream isn't so far from what actually happened.

I'm glad I'm seeing that there are more people out there who actually liked this movie. It deserves more credit. Being a huge De Palma fan I was initially not so impressed with Passion. Kinda thought he played it to safe but after watching it again I felt like he was having fun with his usual twists. It's a really cool movie for fans of De Palma's thrillers.

Re: Underrated masterpiece

to each their own

this movie did nothing for me, the acting and writing were so bad that i felt like it's one those TV movies

and the less said about the screenplay the better


so many movies, so little time

Re: Underrated masterpiece

It's a film with formal beauties, but also some cheese.

Still, it's fun.

Re: Underrated masterpiece

Count me in as thinking this movie got way under appreciated..it's a subtle and very sly movie..one that works it's biggest wonders AFTER you've seen it and begin to piece together the small hidden loops in the machinery.

Not the basic plot, power struggle-murderthe same way as Femme Fatale is not a movie about a heist
De Palma loves to play games with his viewers and he's gotten better and better at it..if Femme Fatale was a magician's show were you were watching the right hand where the left hand in full view was working some other magic.Passion seems to work even in subtler ways.

De Palma has always built upon his previous films..there are many trademark twists/ shots we THINK we know, but he always manages to subvert our expectations.We all think we KNOW what he means with the split screen, the dream sequence, the point of view, the sister, the hidden camera's (after all we've seen all his previous movies " countless " times- didn't we ?).

But if you analyse them (which one should, to really get the film) they're always used in a very different, fresh way.
Point made by a previous writer in this thread, the split screen in Sisters and the split screen in this movie which we take to be the same / but different (cause we're the Palma-philes who love this) are NOT the same..and that's were the real fun and games start between De Palma and us.

I suspect most audiences -even critics (after being weened on either summer blockbusters or art movies that wear their intentions on their sleeve) have little patience or get irritated by the fact that in order to enjoy the movie they have to be nice viewers and play along in the charade, see, interpret, rethink, reinterpret, etc.. Not the main plot which in most De Palma films is clean and lean.and easy to get
but the real cat and mouse games with Herr Director..
De Palma alway wins - he IS that clever..and i love his style for that. A lot of audiences want to see a car smash, a highrise topple, critics wanna see a lot of drama, "good " intentions, and mannerist actingI guess they don't like to admit they fell prey to the gaming in Passion (or Femme Fatale for that matter) and fell for it.they can only take a certain easy kind of cleverness.

I find the film very elegant in the way every single frame and the very fabric of the tale is endlessly reflected in a glacial funhouse mirror hall (much like Welles's Lady from Shanghai) where it's impossible to make any distinction between the packaging, the image, the advertisments and the "reel" persons, the parts they play even to the point where they're not able to make the distinction (shades of Raisin Cain) themselves
Have we all lost (or are in danger of losing) our personalities by watching these empty " apple" surfaces for too long?

Can't wait and (yes pray) for his NEXT movie.

Re: Underrated masterpiece

Masterpiece????Holy crap, it is a movie about passion without passion, with bad acting in some scenes, total mess in scenario.Palma should retire, he remained in last century.

Re: Underrated masterpiece

It's good to see a thread like this. I, too, had the feeling of quintessential De Palma at work here. Yet, as someone pointed out, he plays with his own trademarks, such as using split screen in a manner that is obviously familiar and fresh at the same time.

He had some worse times, but when at his best, De Palma is a fantastic director. I wouldn't call "Passion" a masterpiece but it's still a very good flick with great acting and a fair share of surprises.

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Re: Underrated masterpiece

Its a beautifully shot film like all of Brian De Palma's movies, but the story was just plain stupid. The fluidic sexuality of the female characters was just a male fantasy and didn't seem natural, the twists and turns were contrived like most of the story elements, and the ending (in fact the entire final act) is so left field and needlessly drawn out, it just became frustrating. This is one of De Palma's worst movies.

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Re: Underrated masterpiece

It's automatically not underrated when it's a direct and recent rip off from the original French movie much superior to this Hollywood version.
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