Nothing is what it seems – John
I have never seen a film like Don’t Look Now before and I highly doubt
that I will ever see one after, now that I’ve viewed it. Upon reading site
Eric Red’s review of the picture here; I felt compelled to take a look at it for myself. What I found was one of the most unique, sad, mind-boggling yet gorgeous piece of celluloid horror that I’ve ever seen.
Don’t Look Now slyly played the experimental/art film card in the unorthodox way that it was shot and edited. The flick moved its compelling narrative line forward in a fashion that echoed a fragmented stream of consciousness as opposed to a standard linear manner. Result; I was engulfed, manipulated and often baffled by what transpired on the screen with my involvement factor being boosted to a ludicrous degree by the trippy execution. The clever use of back and forth cuts and the impact laced milking of contrasts the flick put out also made for an original way to tell a story. Wait till you see the handling of the heart-breaking opening... now that’s f*cking CINEMA! A flick that tells its story and explores its characters via arresting visuals and brilliant sound design...WOW! I haven't seen one of those in a while! I was floored!
Now, none of it would have mattered if I didn’t cherish the players and their plight so much and boy did I care about the people in this film! I can’t remember the last time I got so deeply attached to film characters. Big props to the wonderful chemistry that Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie shared and to Director Roeg for capitalizing on it so skillfully. The love scene in the film for example, was so honest, natural and pure that it let me in the characters' lives on a deeper level than the norm; hence ensuing in me getting my ass severely kicked by the ugliness inflicted upon the characters down the road.
Another angle that upped the film's power was Roeg's knack at filling the glass with bleak mood, foreboding and menace when it came to the setting (dark, tourist-less Venice locations), which was as much of a character as the human protagonists . Furthermore, the bizarre manner in which the location related with the leads had me on the edge of my seat throughout. The whole time I just knew something really bad was going to happen and the flick played on that feeling of dread brilliantly. I actually pussied out at one point where I stopped the film because I didn’t want to go on with the film and see these characters go through the ringer. I have never done that in my entire courtship with cinema (wow that sounded pretentious...it stays!).
Of course I got my courage back and finished the movie. What followed was an exhilarating, poignant and fairly depressing continuation that went on to crush my skull against the wall via its unpredictable and novel finale. Everything I thought was happening, everything I thought I knew, everything I hoped would happen…was wrong. The film had me! Any complaints? Other than the fact that it took me so long to see this baby; no.
Don’t Look Now was a perfect film for me in the way it was shot, performed and edited. Its also one of those that gets richer after each viewing; which prompted me to buy the DVD. If your tastes go above the fast paced, McDonalds horror we’ve been getting lately; seek it and see it. Much like PSYCHO this has to be one of the most important genre films ever made. It was ahead of its time and then some! LOOK NOW!