2 April 2004 | jangu
A different Argento, to be sure, but that's not bad Argento!
I have read the reviews complaining about that Dario has abandoned his style and all the gore to produce a tame TV-thriller. Far from the truth, according to me! I really think that this is the best he has done since "Opera". Granted, his stylish touch might seem to be muted compared to the baroque thriller of the 70s and 80s, but this cold and bleak atmosphere that he conjures up this time along with very brightly lit camera-work for most of the scenes, is something I enjoyed throughout! Sure, the gore is almost totally absent (apart from one scene), but as a whole this picture is much more efficiently done. The pace is fluent and unlike most of his other movies, there is actually no point where the characters just stand around and talk (and sometimes his players have been involved in some truly atrocious conversation) to fill out the time.
*MINOR SPOILER* And in "Il cartaio" the three main actors are actually very good! They are people you can care about and when they are in danger or die, you feel sorry for them. *END OF SPOILER* Like I mentioned before, I enjoyed the bleak look of the movie...as always classy camera-work in every frame of an Argento picture! And Claudio Simonetti's score is his best in years even though you might be just a little bit tired of it by the time the movie reaches it's conclusion. And talking about the finale, I found it both interesting, but at the same time also maybe a little bit of a letdown. However, the endings have been a bit weak lately in Dario's films. Not since "Tenebrae" has there been a really powerful conclusion. And two minor complaints finally...it was too easy to guess who the killer was. This has been mentioned before and I think it is true. The killer's identity could have been better camouflaged without a "certain scene" (you will know which one). And the card scenes went on too long on two occasions. The constant screaming from the victims became annoying in these scenes and I almost wanted them to die just to make them shut up! Otherwise, his best work in years and a film where he is not just content with repeating an old formula (like in "Sleepless" which I liked anyhow), but is actually trying to find a whole new path in his art.