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The best ending ever & some of the best music you'll ever hear IN YOUR LIFE
About the ending, don't worry I won't ruin a thing! In fact, all I'll say is it's one of the most visually creative and illuminating conclusions I've ever seen. A picture within a picture within a picture...
Now about the music. I realize I'm speaking to a very tight demographic, but if you were alive & remotely hip in the 70s, you will love the music in this movie. That goes double for Salvatores' film DENTI which he did a few years before this one. Deep Purple, Procol Harum, Ultravox, Talking Heads, and a slew of other great bands add an undeniably cool atmosphere to his films and fill you with the uncontrollable urge to go digging through your closets for those old albums that everyone has forgotten.
Why am I dwelling on music when this is a movie we're talking about? It's because the music is so indicative of the director's mastery of the material presented. We can argue all day over how clever the plot is, but I prefer to focus on presentation. And as always, Salvatores delivers right on key.
The mood is perfect. The characters are memorable & original (the lead role is a rebellious, no-nonsense, 40ish woman which would put her right smack in the middle of the 70s demographic I mentioned above), and you want to talk about visuals? The lighting alone should have won a dozen awards. It's a dark film, but notice how the characters are always vividly illuminated, with no annoying shadows or dark spots on their faces. The light source is elusive as if it's actually radiating from the actors' faces; that's how good lighting is done on the screen or in an oil painting. It's creates a very surreal and visually compelling style which Salvatores has embraced in his last 10 years of film-making, and it's what keeps me coming back for more.
As with DENTI (imo his masterpiece), this movie seems to have been mostly overlooked and largely misunderstood (note the relatively low ratings on IMDb... but since when has IMDb's ratings been representative of good taste?). But if you're a fan of modern surrealism, check it out. (By "modern surrealism", I'm not referring to Buñuel (what I call "classical absurdist surrealism") but rather Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Tom Tykwer or Jim Jarmusch--directors who create vivid, dreamlike visuals while staying rooted in a rational plot. I'd even include Hitchcock in the list.)
If any of this review struck a chord with you, then I bet you'll enjoy the movie. If, on the other hand, you're sitting there saying "wtf?" (yeah I get that a lot), then I'm pretty sure you should move on and look for another film. Good luck either way.
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