Don’t Look Now is originally the adaptation of a book, by the same title, made in 1973. This fact will be important, and I will come back to it later. It might be a bit of a spoiler, but the paper I handed in had the following title: "Don't Look Now? Don't look ever!"
Before I started working on my review, I decided to do a bit of research. I was mostly interested in other people’s reaction to the movie. They were either lovers or haters, only a couple could rightfully explain their hesitation in choosing one side or the other. One might be disappointed, but I am a hater as far as this movie goes...
My biggest problem was that I was not satisfied with the ending! John dies at the hand of this serial killer, but the killings are referred to a total of THREE times throughout the whole movie! I was convinced that these killings had no importance as far as the plot or the story of our couple is concerned. There was no real built up to it as it was very badly done. Honestly I was either expecting that John would be this killer (as there was indication for it) or that he would kill himself, not being able to understand his premonitions. To get how I felt, imagine that you are watching a two hour long crime with 10 characters (among them a detective), and you spend the whole movie wondering who the killer is going to be, when in the last ten minutes they introduce an 11th character who turns out to be the murderer... You'd be pretty pissed, wouldn't you? So you can guess why I was not satisfied at all with the ending, and if I don't like that, then I question the whole movie.
Many and many subplots didn't have an ending. I hate that. Also, the main characters didn't behave like real humans do. Let me explain with a couple of examples what I mean exactly.
After the loss of their daughter, they go to Venice, leaving their son behind. I know that the husband has to work, but their son is not mentioned again until the 53rd minute of the movie (out of 105!). I assume that (after asking my mom) you’d want to spend every second of the day with your only child after losing the other. I even came to the conclusion that perhaps that boy was just a friend of their daughters! And when he supposedly has an accident, Laura leaves immediately, of course, but when we discover that he is quite OK, she leaves him again. She spent a total amount of what, three hours with him? Is that normal? I get that he is in boarding school, but for fuck sake! Not only was she warned that Venice is dangerous for her husband, but she doesn't even want to spend a little bit more time with her son?
The only human like behavior was that of the grieving mother, who thought of these sisters as closure for her pains, while the stubborn male father could not bring himself to believing a blind woman, claiming to be psychic.
And the two sisters? I can't really say anything about them. I found myself wondering about their past instead of the main character's future - and that's not good movie, that is not good. They were OK, but they were a subplot that was unnecessary: Laura never reached closure and John died just the same. Big help you guys were!
Oh, and Italians don't speak English. They do know (up in the North), but not in the 70's. I also was hesitant to understand why John, fluent in the beginning, seemed to have completely forgot he spoke Italian in the second half of the movie. The most truthful scene was when he met with two ladies, owners of a motel, and he asked if they spoke English, immediate response with a smile: "No."
One last point I did want to make was a question and an error I noticed. We are meant to believe that John is only seeing this red figure, the same way he has his premonitions. But we do know that this red thing exists, so he only has premonitions. The same way he used that to try and save his daughter, why does he keep refusing to listen to them? Or is it simply that he cannot tell the difference between reality and vision? The same way he thought Laura was with the sisters when she was actually away. But then how did he figure out that his daughter was drowning? Couldn't he have simply thought that it was just a sensation and it wasn't true?
1) Because he realizes he actually caught the killer on film?
2) Because he realizes that this isn't his daughter?
3) Because he realizes that this is the serial killer?
I didn't get it.
(The director also points out that she has a knife in her pocket. Were the previous murders done with a knife? Is that mentioned? And don't tell me that Sutherland couldn't beat up a dwarf that size! When she put the knife to his throat? I honestly started laughing! And at a point there was blood coming from his shoes... he was cut in the neck, so what...?). People said that when the dwarf turns toward him, that that was the creepiest thing they have ever seen... I will wish you not to make friends with old ladies who had plastic surgery, cause you'll be creeped out all the time!
See it, don’t see it? Upon reading a comment, I can tell you that if you don’t like the first 10 minutes of the movie, you won’t like any of it. It was the same for me. I only first saw the 7 minutes in the beginning and I already mistook the children for a younger version of our main characters (instead of, you know, their children)! So editing? Also awful for me ... HOWEVER, being called a classic do try and check it out, but keep that in mind!
Coming up next, we are back on schedule with a list of my top 15 favorite actors! Stay tuned!