If you ever want to see the cinematic expression of “style over substance”, Femme Fatale is the movie to watch. In fact, but for Brian De Palma’s presence, this was a movie tailor-made for a trashy direct-to-video thriller that wouldn’t have attracted even a cursory glance from anyone. Palma must have had one hell of a fun time making this unabashedly stylish neo-noir, what with split screens, outlandish plot developments, snazzy craftsmanship and carefree indulgence into “cool factor”, so much so that the inane pulpy plot, wafer-thin characterizations and bizarre coincidences somehow do not come into way of the wholesome entertainment the movie provides. The movie starts off with the famous climax scene from Billy Wilder’s classic noir Double Indemnity. The plot is so gleefully byzantine and well, ludicrous, that I won’t even go into that; suffice it to say, the film abounds in amoral characters, double (even triple) crosses and enough of sleazefest to make this one of your guilty pleasures. Rebecca Romjin is smoking hot as a deliriously twisted femme fatale and her emotionally broken doppelganger, while Antonio Banderas’ turn as a down-and-out paparazzo is a really funny watch. It has at times been referred to as the lunatic and brazen half-brother of David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, and why not?
Director: Brian De Palma Genre: Thriller/Crime Thriller/Mystery/Post-Noir Language: English/French Country: US