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Ti Piace Hitchcock?

Do You Like Hitchcock?

Italy/Spain 2005
produced by
Claudio Argento for Opera Film Produzione/Genesis Motion Pictures, RAI, Institut del Cinema Català, Televisió de Catalunya
directed by Dario Argento
starring Elio Germano, Elisabetta Rocchetti, Chiara Conti, Christina Brondo, Iván Morales, Edoardo Stoppa, Elena Maria Bellini, Horacio José Grigaitis, Giuseppe Lo Console, Milvia Marigliano, Giampiero Perone, Antonio Mazzara, Anna Varello, Carla Gambino, Lorenzo Federici, Alessandra Magrini, Emanuela Cuglia
written by Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini, music by Pino Donaggio, special effects by Apocalypse FX

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Giulio (Elio Germano) gets more and more fascintated by his across-the-street neighbour Sasha (Elisabetta Rocchetti), who often parades in the nude in front of her open window - in Giulio's plain sight.

Eventually, Giulio, a film student, runs into her in Andrea's (Iván Morales) videostore and overhears her talking to another customer, Federica (Chara Conti), commenting on Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train ... and the next day, Sasha's mother (Milvia Marigliano), with whom she constantly quarelled, turns up dead, and it turns out that Sasha is all of a sudden the sole heiress to a large fortune - which would make her the perfect suspect, thing is, she has a waterproof alibi !

Police investigations seem to lead to nowhere, and soon enough, it looks as if this would become another unsolved murder, only Giulio doesn't give up, and soon enough, he thinks he has it all worked out: just like in Strangers on a Train, Sasha and Federica have swapped murders, and all Giulio has to do now is to try and find some definite proof for his theory ... but unfortunately, Giulio is not the best of investigators, and before long, Sasha knows he's on her trail - and doesn't even seem to care -, and when he tries to dig up some dirt about Federica, he breaks a leg and is almost killed after having witnessed her having sex with her boss. And as if that wasn't enough, he becomes so tied up with his investigations he is even dumped by his girlfriend Arianna (Cristina Brondo).

Ultimately though it turns out he really was on the right trail all along when he is attacked by video store owner Andrea, who brutally tries to kill him - and is only saved in the nick of time by his mother (Elena Marina Bellini) and her boyfriend. When Andrea tries to get away, he runs in front of a car and is killed, but his attack on Giulio gives the police enough evidence to arrest Sasha for the murder of her mother.

Now everything has turned to the sunny side for Giulio, he has solved his case - sort of at least -, his girlfriend comes back to him, and he once again has enough time to focus on something other than some stupid investigations ... when he and Arianna witness a hooded figure entering Sasha's appartment ... and somehow, Arianna all of a sudden gets bitten by the same bug as Giulio and wants to investigate, going into Sasha's appartment after the hooded figure - who soon enough turns out to be Federica.

Giulio manages to call the police just soon enough before anything can happen to Arianna, and ultimately Federica almost commits suicide before confessing to everything: Yes, it was really her who murdered Sasha's mum, and in exchange she wanted her to murder her abusive boss - just like Giulio suspected -, but after Sasha got imprisoned, Federica realized Sasha still had her key which would have been the only clue leading to her, and now she has come to get it back - which ultimately was her downfall, thanks to Giulio ...

 

For all who have followed Dario Argento's career so far, this one must come as a bit of a surprise: Despite being another murder mystery (or giallo, if you may), the genre Argento has become popular with, this is not his usual, often self referential horror-thriller mix full of exciting and gruesome setpieces but a rather light-footed whodunnit that puts more emphasis on its story and pays loving yet never overpowering hommage to some of Alfred Hitchcock's best films, especially above mentioned Strangers on a Train, Rear Window and Dial M for Murder ... and somehow the movie works just fine.

Truth to be told: If all of Argento's films fould have looked like this, I doubt if he would still be a cult favourite, but that said, Do You Like Hitchcock ? is pleasently entertaining, suspenseful and totally enjoyable nevertheless !

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
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starring
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out now on DVD

 

 

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