Passion: "You're More Like Me Than You Think"

Director: Brian De Palma
Writer:    Natalie Carter
               Alain Corneau
               Brian De Palma
Starring: Rachel McAdams
               Noomi Rapace
               Karoline Herfurth
               Paul Anderson
               Rainer Bock
               Benjamin Sadler
Rating:   ****

Release Date: 12/08/2013 

It must have been about a year ago that I first saw the trailer for Passion, and then I never really heard much more about it. I soon forgot about the sexy new thriller, and never thought much of it. However it recently got bought back to my attention, and this past weekend I finally got to see it. It is a sexy, intense and honestly baffling film about exploitation, sex, and revenge; a dish best served cold.

Set against the glamorous backdrop of a 5 star advertising company, a company that produce the best adverts for the highest selling companies. The company is made up of driven, ambitious and attractive young employees, employees that will do anything to be the best. The oozing sex appeal and gloomy mystery of the characters is captured through the edgy cinematography and sharp script. The music and soundtrack is what, certainly near the end of the film,  gives the movie the uneasy and tense feeling that constantly niggles in the back of your mind.

Rachel McAdams
The film is a wickedly neat package all tied together; direction, script and music really paint the picture for what is undoubtedly a trippy and dramatic piece of cinema. A story that ends in tragedy, betrayal and ultimately a dreadful sense of confusion and anxiety; something that Brian De Palma truly makes the audience feel. It's this feeling of unease that allows you to fully submerse yourself in the film and believe in the characters.

The two leads portray their polar opposite characters superbly, McAdams plays the head bitch in the office. She steals ideas, she humiliates others and manipulates them to do whatever she wants (imagine a more grown up, and far more f**ked up Regina George if you will). She plays the character with a sick charm, a dangerous sexuality that she oozes in every scene. She is able to attract men and women and will ultimately destroy anyone that gets her way of achieving her goals.

Noomi Rapace on the other hand is just as determined and hard working as McAdams character, however Rapace's role is far more naive, trusting and easily led; so much so that if she carries on that way she will never reach her highest potential. We witness Rapace portray a woman who is sane and capable, yet as the film journeys on she begins to break down, and her mental stability eventually betrays her, just as McAdams character does. It is here that we finally see Rapace snap and her character become almost a twin, a mirror image, of the other lead female. She becomes determined, savvy and extremely unhinged. It is this mental collapse that will lead to her downfall.
Noomi Rapace
A quick mention also needs to go to Karoline Herfurth, who portrays a truly understated character superbly. She is always tagging along, and wanting to be the one thee to help Rapace when she needs, but her secret means that Rapace needs her more than she knows. Herfurth plays it so subtly that you never even know what she is really up to, and I have to commend her for really owning and adding that extra spark to the conclusion of the film.

The films camera work, music and visual aesthetic all run in parralel with Rapace's character, and the physical and mental battle she faces. The music and lighting becomes duller and moodier as the end draws closer, and the scenes become sharper, edgier and move with more pace and frenetic energy. The audience are drawn in because of this, they get taken in by the story and as the last shot of the film hits the audiences we are left as confused and scared as the actress on screen. Some may hate the inconclusive ending, I however thought it superb and, in my opinion, fit the films flow and energy perfectly. of course part of me wanted to know the complete ending, but looking back...not knowing is even more delicious.

Passion - Trailer