Sadly, some movies get far more credit than they deserve.
And we’re not talking only Bollywood trash, most of which should not even be released in theaters.
Take for instance, the Italian film La doppia ora (The Double Hour) that marked the directorial debut of Giuseppe Capotondi.
We watched the film in the theater yesterday and came out with mixed feelings overall.
Double Hour – The Good and the Bad
What we liked about The Double Hour was the fine acting by Russian actress Kseniya Rappoport, who plays Sonia, a chambermaid at a hotel in Turin.
Being Indian and being starved of seeing acting talent, it’s a pleasure to discover unknown faces who give so much joy with their performances.
What we disliked about the movie was the incoherent plot that made it difficult to make sense of events inside the comatose dream versus happenings in real life.
Twists as a cinematic technique are fine and often add to the allure of a predictable film.
But when twists are thrown into the plot just to jolt viewers, the technique becomes meaningless and irritating to discerning viewers who can easily see through these ploys. And in our not so humble view, Double Hour stands guilty in this ‘twisted’ respect.
Double Hour tries to be so many things at the same time – a romance, a murder thriller, a crime mystery – but succeeds only partially at all of them, likely because of the ‘twisted’ contrivance.
The plot in its essence centers around the chambermaid Sonia, her relationship with a former cop Guido, the subsequent robbery, the death, the injury, the hospitalization and betrayal.
Are the events in the coma to some degree a harbinger of events to come or a device to describe Sonia’s character? We have no way of knowing that as well as some other loose ends including the ‘suicide’ of a hotel resident early in the film.
Another vexing issue we had with Double Hour was the white-on-white subtitles that often made it impossible to follow the dialogs on the screen.
Is it too much to ask that the producers make the subtitles readable?
When film producers are so indifferent to non-native speakers, why release the movie outside Italy at all. After all, a movie ticket is not free to a viewer.
Despite the compelling performance by Kseniya Rappoport, given the incoherent plot and the issue with the subtitles SearchIndia.com does not recommend The Double Hour.
If you insist on going, the movie is playing at the Landmark theaters in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and a few other cities in the U.S.