John and Laura Baxter are in Venice when they meet a pair of elderly sisters, one of whom claims to be psychic. She insists that she sees the spirit of the Baxters' daughter, who recently drowned. Laura is intrigued, but John resists the idea. He, however, seems to have his own psychic flashes, seeing their daughter walk the streets in her red cloak, as well as Laura and the sisters on a funeral gondola.Written by
James Meek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I love it when you come across a film in which you can tell the director is in complete control. Directors like Stanley Kubrick, Brian De Palma and Nicolas Roeg are some of the first that come to mind. It seems that so much thought goes into every scene, yet the thinking isn't always lateral. They have an ability to make what would otherwise be a completely ordinary scene, something utterly unique and thought-provoking. The end product is almost always a delight to watch and what Roeg has produced here with 'Don't Look Now' is no exception.
There's quite a bizarre feel watching this film. From the rather odd characters (not just the small parts either, but the lead roles as well), the Italian language that is rarely explained to us what is actually being said, and an odd story that isn't entirely clear where it is going. If handled wrongly, all this could equal an absolute mess of a film. However in the case of 'Don't Look Now', Roeg keeps us convinced that he has some tricks up his sleeve, and this makes for a very fun viewing experience trying to work out where exactly this is all headed.
Where it is headed is to a quite brilliant ending. I'll admit I had to go back and watch the ending again to make sure I fully understood what I had just witnessed. This only confirmed to me though that it was indeed an ingenious way to finish the film. This is the type of movie that either demands you go back and watch it again, or else leaves you thinking about it for days to come.
'Don't Look Now' may not be for everyone. I imagine it to be quite a polarising film in that way. If you aren't enjoying it in the early stages, chances are you aren't really going to enjoy it at all. I can only assure you that it is worth persisting with and just excepting the oddness that will creep up at times. A really good film that deserves all the recognition it gets.
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