22 August 2006 | ODDBear
Playful and suspenseful homage to a great director by a great director
Giulio is a peeping Tom and lovely Sascha from across the street catches his eye from time to time. At a local video store Giulio sees Sascha and another girl discussing Hitchcock's film Strangers on a Train and Sascha rents it. Later Sascha's mother is killed and Giulio starts thinking about the plot from Strangers on a Train.
From his very first film Argento has been nicknamed "the Italian Hitchcock" and many still refer to him as that. Although he heartily disagrees with that assessment, Argento may have felt obliged to do a direct homage to the old master at some point in his career. With the help of his longtime script collaborator Franco Ferrini, Argento has constructed a very clever "whodunnit" which successfully weaves together elements from Hitchcock's Rear Window, Strangers on a Train, Dial M. for Murder and Vertigo, and possibly a few others. The story is surprisingly airtight considering the many films it's paying homage to. No great loopholes to be found and although you know the old films by heart, Do You Like Hitchcock? still manages to surprise up until the end. It's no doubt great fun for a Hitchcock aficionado to spot all the references, I particularly liked the Vertigo inspired ending.
Some Argento trademarks are present but on the whole it doesn't always look like it's one of his films. It must be taken into consideration that this is an Italian made for TV film and Argento reportedly had to make it in a hurry and it's budget is lower than usual. The actors here are actually pretty decent and the dubbing fares better here than in Argento's The Card Player. No big names here but they do their jobs well enough. The gore is on the light side, only one sequence has some ick factor in it.
With all limitations in mind it's a wonder what Argento managed to accomplish because Do You Like Hitchcock? is overall a suspenseful homage that no doubt Hitchcock himself would have approved of.