This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
RK9’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Superb recommendation! I find it difficult to write about movies as notable as this. What is left to say? Speaking from my perspective, I have always been drawn to films that explore the nagging paranoia that comes from a crime perfectly committed. I love this portrayal particularly because the narration that comes with it comes from a more resigned place, generating a perfect tension between what we see and what we hear.
This is such a classic Hollywood tale. Complete with the not-so-subtle cautionary tale of the destruction that comes from lust. The femme fatale is a compelling twist on the classic stereotype and so well-performed here.
The story here isn't the centerpiece, surprisingly. Indeed, we know the ending from the start. It's not a whodunit but a howdunit. The thing that draws you in is how these relationships formed and devolved, the dynamics that surged and plummeted to bring our main character to this place. The initial meeting, the empathy for the daughter, the jealousy, the distrust, the final betrayal. It's all in the emotion here.
There are so many moments of perfectly executed suspense, that they're hardly worth describing. In particular, the conversation with Keyes in the apartment when we know Dietrichson is coming is superb. I could hardly listen because I was like, holy crap what are you going to do when she shows up. I love how time-specific this story is. It isn't universal because it's so dependent on the laws, norms, and technology of the time. I particularly love the elaborate setup of slips of paper on his phone and doorbell so he can tell if someone tried to reach him.
Through and through this is quintessential cinema. I'm sure it has flaws. But here, now, it stands tall as a standard bearer of a genre, a time, an attitude, and an industry that lends itself to an enjoyable and thoroughly engaging exploration of howdunit.