Sunday, January 19, 2014

Femme Fatale (2002)

Director: Brian De Palma

Writer: Brian De Palma

Composer: Ryuichi Sakamoto

Starring: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote, Eriq Ebouaney, Edouard Montoute, Rie Rasmussen, Thierry Fremont, Gregg Henry, Fiona Curzon, Daniel Milgram, Jean-Marc Mineo, Jean Chatel

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Nothing is more desirable or more deadly than a woman with a secret

Plot: The thief Laurie Ash steals the expensive diamond jewel called 'Eye of the Serpent' in an audacious heist during an exhibition in Cannes 2001 Festival. She double-crosses her partners and is mistakenly taken as Lily, a woman who lost her husband and son in an accident and is missing since then, by an ordinary family. One day, while having bath in Lily's bathtub, Lily comes back home and commits suicide. Laurie assumes definitely Lily's identity, goes to America where she marries a rich man, who becomes the Ambassador of USA in France. When Laurie returns to France, her past haunts her.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.


Brian De Palma films are hit and miss but I'll watch every one of them to find the ones that shine.  This one is great until the final act and then it goes to utter shit.  More on that in a second. The opening jewel heist amidst a film premiere is a lot of fun, if not a little over long.  I liked the sound alike music aping Ravel's Bolero.  It's too bad they didn't spring for the dough to use the real thing.  Like in Ravel's Bolero, I was anticipating the big musical finish where the cymbals and bombastic brass clash like violent waves against the rock formations along the beach, only in this version it never came. I felt a little let down but De Palma's striking visuals kept my attention.  His use of the camera is magnificent and when you combine that with Sakamoto's score the film is firmly placed in Alfred Hitchcock territory.  It's also nice to see Romijn in a non-X-MEN role.  Her various stages of undress provide A LOT of eye candy.  It's a wonderfully sexy picture.  Then there's the end. 

She wakes up and most of what we've seen was a dream.  The fuck?  Now she's out to set things right and alter her wicked ways by preventing the girl's suicide and the movie ends on a happy note. I call bullshit.  De Palma had me in de palm (ahahahaha) of his hand until he reveals that we've been had.  After that I was ready to get this one over with.  So, was that the plan all along, to fuck with the audience?  Femme fatales are bad news broads but this one has a change of heart at the end and buys a one way ticket to Happytown?  What a disappointment.  Well, at least Romijn got naked.  Ugh.

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