A violent police detective investigates a brutal murder that might involve a manipulative and seductive novelist.A violent police detective investigates a brutal murder that might involve a manipulative and seductive novelist.A violent police detective investigates a brutal murder that might involve a manipulative and seductive novelist.
As has been mentioned, there are echoes of Hitchcock's Vertigo throughout the film, including the San Francisco setting, the attire of the female lead (Catherine, played by Sharon Stone), the styling of her hair, the background music, the shots of interior stairwells, and the lead character (Nick, played by Michael Douglas) following Catherine around the city in his car. The apartment of Beth (played by Jeanne Trippehorn) might also remind one of Rear Window.
Many of the characters have emotional/psychological problems like addiction, dependency, or worse. This makes it more difficult for the viewer to determine the motivations of the suspects. Nick--the filter through which we see all evidence--is flawed. We learn that he has had problems with cocaine and alcohol. Sexually, he is ripe for exploration and, maybe, manipulation.
The film walks a fine line between revelation and obfuscation. In the course of the story, murders are committed, and we are given just enough information to pull us deeper into the mystery, but not enough to reveal the truth. Even the ending leaves the future ambiguous.
This is an excellent mystery for the nineties. The acting is excellent, especially that of Sharon Stone who plays the rabbit we gladly follow down the rabbit hole where the rules of the game are confusing and constantly changing.
- Oct 28, 2013