Wednesday 8th September 2010

The Black Dahlia

Director: Brian De Palma
Year: 2006
Stars: Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank

I wasn't sure what to expect from this as I'd heard reviews about it, but couldn't really remember how positive they had been. Either way, I often enjoy De Palma films, and am enough of a film noir fan to happily give them a go.

Unfortunately, this film starts very slowly. It's a good 40 minutes before we really have anything resembling a plot. I'm pretty sure the point of these 40 minutes was to character build, but it didn't really succeed. The film did do a good job of evoking a sense of time and place, but other, better films have done this just as well in the opening 5 minutes.

When we are given a plot, we learn that two detective partners have to investigate the brutal murder of a young girl. Once the film gets going, and we have a story to pin our interest on, things do pick up. I was genuinely interested in the ending by the last 20 minutes, wanting to know how all the pieces fitted together. The final hour felt much more like the De Palma films I know and love (brutal, violent and sick, yes - but interesting). It's just a pity that what could have been an excellent, taunt, 90 minute thriller turned into a rambling 2 hour + film.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.