Apr 30, 2011

The Double Hour

This taut, suspenseful, but slightly frustrating Italian thriller from director Giuseppe Capotondi is quite interesting and entertaining, but frankly the best news about it is that it stars the mega hot Filippo Timi (Vincere), who in this movie looks like the Italian version of Javier Bardem. Mamma mia, che bello uomo! It was about time that Italy started exporting a new heir to the pantheon of Italian gods like Marcello Mastroianni, and Vittorio Gassman. Timi more than fits the bill, but he is more of an everyman; less movie star handsome and more rugged. Yes.
The movie treads a fine genre line between a quite suspenseful thriller, a caper, a love story and something else that cannot be disclosed, but it is precisely the something else that kind of deflated the premise for me. Let's just say that it is like a noir thriller crossed with Ghost. A strange melange, that works for the most part but not quite. It definitely presents an original path to a thriller/noirish film, though the love story kind of gets in the way of the noir (as love will do). This is one of those films that you enjoy a lot while you are watching, then there is a revelation in the last third that is a little tepid, but then it becomes more interesting the day after. I love it when that happens.
The other lead is the very expressive Kseniya Rappoport, and one of the problems I have with this movie is that she is plays her character only one way, which is an interesting choice, but hard to believe. The Double Hour reimagines the concept of the femme fatale as someone who is not impervious to real romantic love. This is interesting but somehow unsatisfying because her motives are as confusing to her as they are to the audience. I wish she had shown just a bit more of her ruthless side and I would have bought the story much more.
Still, I smell American remake (if anybody here is still interested in noir, instead of retarded grown up men behaving like children).

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