Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Crazy 80's Project: Diva

The first real dud of this project. This widely acclaimed French suspense thriller is neither suspenseful or thrilling as it tells the Hitchcockian story of an innocent mailman who winds up with a tape implicating the leader of a suspected sex trafficking organization. There are a couple of other subplots, including one about a bootleg recording the main character makes of his favorite opera diva's concert, and that's precisely the problem with Diva. When the film should be as sleek and to-the-point as possible, director Jean-Jacques Beineix drastically drags the film out 20-30 minutes longer than it needs to be. How are we supposed to be involved in this film when the main character is in no real danger until more than halfway into the runtime? Even when the "suspense" does amp up, it's neither exciting nor particularly clever; it's everything we have seen done better a million times before. It's particularly telling when the opera diva the title is referring to is referenced as being disagreeable having a volatile temper and we see neither during her entire, almost unnecessary, subplot. What's the point in having an exciting, electric diva and then forcing her to remain entirely calm and collected nearly the entire time? Just one of this misfire's many mistakes. D+

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