Don’t Look Now

A horror thriller that revolves around a couple trying to cope with the death of their child and being warned about an impending danger by the child’s spirit.

This British classic stands out for its intense puzzle like mystery,superb atmospherics and the psychological elements.

Cast- Julie Christie , Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania, Massimo Serato

Director- Nicholas Roeg

Based on short story – “ Don’t Look Now” by Daphne du Maurier

Plot

The film opens to a tragic accidental drowning of a child. Soon after, the parents,John and Laura Baxter(Sutherland ,Christie)are in Venice as John has taken up a project of restoring an old church.

 Traumatic Laura meets two women ,one of whom is blind but claims that she sees their dead girl who is warning her parents of an impending danger.

John dismisses the occult angle but experiences mysterious sightings of child similar to his daughter. When Laura had to suddenly fly to England because of an accident at the boarding school of their son, he is surprised to see her with the two psychic women in Venice and gets worried about her.But he is perplexed when she calls from England. He also has some inexplicable foreboding feel and vision similar to when his daughter died.All this while Venice is experiencing a spate of murders…

What was the danger that they were being warned about ? Was it just grief that was the reason of what they were experiencing ?What was the reality of the two women ?What was the mystery of his sightings ?

Analysis

The film was way ahead of its time for the kind of genre it attempts.The narrative and editing style uses flashbacks, flashes, visions, themes and motifs to create a jigsaw puzzle to be put together.  The superb blend of mystery, suspense and occult is thrilling. Venice as a backdrop gives a perfect grey and gloomy feel. The old aura of the city and its labyrinths have been used splendidly to blend with the theme.Elements like old church, red colour and glass add mystery and metaphorics. Nicholas Reg uses all these aspects brilliantly to create  atmospherics of dread and disquiet.

This film that thrives on its suspense, atmospherics and trend setting setting formats in film making, went on to become a reference/ inspiration for many films and film makers.Highly recommended for the lovers of this genre.

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