The Shadow of Her Smile: “La doppia ora” (2009)

   A guest at a hotel leaps from the balcony to her death. A woman attends a speed dating ritual. A pair of budding lovers is accosted during an art heist. A woman begins seeing the phantom images of a dead lover. Is it a mystery? A romantic drama? A crime thriller? A supernatural horror? Actually, a bit of all four. One of the most intriguing elements of “La doppia ora” (“The Double Hour”) is it’s willingness to explore the power of perception, not only in how only how one views the world objectively, but how even a casual reference may stimulate a dramatic shift in one’s perception, imparting the most innocent occurrences with a sudden dramatic urgency.

   Sonia, a maid in a hotel, is cleaning a bathroom when the occupant plunges out the window to her death. Later, Sonia (Kseniya Rappoport) is seen exchanging forced friendly banalities at a speed dating session until she is paired with Guido (Filippo Timi), a favored client of the session’s director Marisa (Lucia Poli), to whom Sonia feels attracted to due to his weary, realistic views of this artificial dating process and by his small but telling insights. They develop a friendship, during which Sonia discovers Guido is an ex-policeman now working as a private security guard.  To reveal more would severely diminish the skillfully constructed script by Alessandro Fabbri, Ludoviza Rampoldi and Stefano Sardo which sinuously interweaves several threads of exposition that will later intersect in ways which will question their reality, not only in terms of the individual character’s viewpoint tainted by neurotic fears fueling guilt and irrational behavior, but also in how we as the viewers sift through the clues of a supposedly objectively presented viewpoint.

To read the complete review, click the link here to: http://chandlerswainreviews,wordpress,com/cinema-italiano/

About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
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