Passion - Blu-ray Review

'Late on we go into very dark levels of dreaming indeed, spooky white face masks and all, but earlier doors this is occasionally a whisker away from being a strap-on a minute sex comedy.'

One of the oddest film experiences of this or any other year, watching Passion is like watching a film-making novice attempt to ill-advisedly pastiche the bizarre psycho-sexual Horror of the 1980s, with a cast of amateurs, whilst a co-director flaps in the background, attempting to get him to remake The Devil Wears Prada. Only, Passion isn't any of that. It's a Brian De Palma film.

Quite where De Palma has gone wrong in general recently is something of a mystery, but from Snake Eyes in 1998 - a film that has a certain charm but is still, when you get down to it, fairly rubbish - the director of some really rather impressive films seems to have been on a one-man mission to make the schlockiest schlock imaginable. If it was good schlock, it would be forgiveable but, more often than not, he isn't even managing that.

In Passion, De Palma seems to have given up the pretensions of plot, artiness and at least some level of the daring that he managed to show in The Black Dahlia, a terrible film which at least had some solid ideas behind it. Here, the director flip flops between office Drama, sexually-charged Thriller and slasher Horror, muddling ideas of identity, workplace gender roles and power relationships, with a strange smattering of family issues thrown in on a handful of occasions, most noticeable the finale, where he goes as 'it was a dream' mad as any director has previously.

Caught in the middle of this are a cast who cannot leave the scene without at least a modicum of blame sticking to them. Rachel McAdams, apparently a sex-mad, power-hungry exec, with something dark going on regarding her sister, is anything but, resorting to Regina George levels of snark, teenage awkwardness and general tonelessness.

Tone, in fact, may actually be the maddest part of this. Late on we go into very dark levels of dreaming indeed, spooky white face masks and all, but earlier doors this is occasionally a whisker away from being a strap-on a minute sex comedy. It's genuinely crazy to watch and you wonder quite how McAdams and co-star Noomi Rapace were enticed in the first place. It may be that, eventually, they realised the level of their problems. At one point the latter is seen with a thin wide-eyed smile, giving a two-nod head nod in the general direction of the former as if to say, 'yup, we are well and truly in 'it''. And yes, indeed, they are.





By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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