Brian De Palma’s bizarre ‘Passion’ (2012)

In spite of striking aesthetics and a terrific performance by Rachel McAdams, Brian De Palma’s Passion becomes irrevocably silly and confusing. This remake of the French film Love Crime features Isabelle (Noomi Rapace), a young advertiser, who shows promise and grows closer to her beautiful boss Christine (McAdams). Christine is cutthroat and manipulative but also inviting to anyone she takes a shine to or needs. Though perhaps we are supposed to see her through Isabelle’s eyes, the “heroine” does not seem much nicer. Neither of them is satisfyingly developed as they vie for power in the advertising world and struggle over a mutual lover. While the first half of the movie is intriguing and elegant, the second half devolves into a melodramatic thriller which is more head-scratching than mind-bending. I have not seen the original film, but I recommend it in hopes that it surpasses the remake.

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