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Review La doppia ora a.k.a. The Double Hour (2009)

genre: thriller, film noir, drama




Thriller, film noir, giallo, drama, these are the genres that get mentioned when reading reviews on this film. One only needs to mention giallo and it is a must watch for me. And I am sure La doppia ora will intrigue viewers as much as a giallo would have done. Except La doppia ora is too subtle for my taste. It is lacking the extravagance or style that giallo's are known for. Even for a thriller the pacing is far too slow. This might be less an issue for some since a friend of mine found it more compelling than I did. It could be that she felt more for the characters and therefore was more drawn into the story. Subtle is the magic word here. When we first are introduced to main character Sonia we don't really get to know her. Everything about her is a mystery. She comes across shy and timid. Or at least that is what the audience is let to believed. The observant viewer will have certain doubts about her and other persons we are introduced from the start. Then there are the few plot points that are left vague until the reveal at a certain point. An interesting one that immediately explains a lot of events but at the same time seems like an easy solution. Since now the viewer will doubt anything that is seen before. And while clever even after not much is revealed about the true feelings Sonia is having. Her intentions however are clear. But again too much is left vague story wise. Some plot points aren't even touched on. Guido, her love interest who was a bit reluctant in the first part, actually grows as an character but then at a very decisive moment fails to follow through. I am supposed to believe it is out of love and a noble deed and everything. Only that real people are rarely that noble. Hang on. I just realized that this particular moment also could be an indication that the ending we see is questionable. But it could also be that the director wants the viewer to think that. This is what I sincerely dislike about subtleness in thrillers. Leave enough unexplained and the mind of the viewer will find their own solutions to the so called mystery that might not even exist.

While watching I never actually felt thrilled at all. At times I was intrigued at how the film was set up and some puzzles were unraveled. But to be fair I did not find the puzzles to be that interesting to start with. Personally I barely cared for any of the characters on screen. (Strange enough the little times that you do care comes because of the exceptional actors.) Combined with the slow pace it all was very underwhelming for me. Since my friend had the exact opposite I think this is a film that has this effect. To be clear though in my opinion this is very far removed from a true giallo movie even when the director himself refers to it as being one. For that it lacks too much. It's a solid film but a little overrated if you ask me. 




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