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The Black Dahlia January 26, 2007

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.

Brian De Palma’s latest film is based on a novel by James Elroy (who also wrote the novel on which L.A. Confidential was based). It is apparently inspired by a notorious unsolved murder of a young woman who came to be know as Black Dahlia. The story is set in the forties where two LA cops are trying to investigate the murder. What follows is a far from enticing mystery.

Though De Palma (The Untouchables, Carlito’s Way, Mission: Impossible) gets the visuals (cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond and production design by Dante Ferretti) and feel right, Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds) doesn’t do a great job with the screenplay. The novel is said to be well-liked but the same thing cannot be said about the screenplay. I wonder what De Palma liked about the screenplay that he agreed to direct this one. The acting is nothing to really rave about either. Aaron Eckhart (Thank You for Smoking) is good while Josh Hartnett, who gets the most screen time, is just alright. Scarlett Johannson looks good but she doesn’t have anything important to do. Hillary Swank gets a better role and is fine.

This movie is quite long (121 minutes) and since it isn’t really engrossing, I was terribly uninterested by the time it reached its climax. Overall, this is an unsatisying watch. You can give this one a miss unless you are a Brian De Palma fan.


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