Tuesday, 30 March 2004

I started watching Hitchcock films a few years ago, and have since watched, and loved: Rear Window, North By Northwest, Strangers On A Train, Rope, The Birds, and The Man Who Knew Too Much, roughly in that order of preference. (The first two would probably rate amongst my favourite films of all time, should I be foolish enough to make such a list). As such, I jumped at the chance to get along to see Le Faux Coupable at TNB as soon as I saw that it was a Hitchcock film in version originale.

As it happened, I was a little underwhelmed. Hitchcock has a perhaps unmatched talent for the creation of suspense, but I felt that here the story really let him down. The basic plot follows a musician who is falsely accused of a crime, and his troubles in dealing with the resultant stresses, in particular on his wife, who basically goes completely nuts. Perhaps I've become blasé from watching too many crime and detective films over the years, but I just didn't think the basic story and dilemma was compelling, and couldn't understand the almost polar change in his wife over the course of the film.

Notwithstanding that, the performances by Henry Fonda and Vera Miles are pretty good, although Fonda is a little too everyman for his character, and Miles' character feels like she has had bits of character development left on the cutting-room floor. Hitch is in fine form in manipulating the audience into suspense, but without a real story basis for it, it feels a little hollow and almost contrived.

I've since read that this was something of a political film for Hitch, but it wasn't dramatic enough to hit home the point for me, and I'd strongly recommend people check out some of his other efforts.

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