Sunday, April 6, 2014
Retro Review: Rope (1948)
An Intense Thriller That Gives The Feeling Of Being Tied On A 'Rope'
Since I have developed such a hankering for Hitchcock, I figured that after Rear Window, I would watch another suspense film that was filmed in a rather special way. Not only does Rope have that, but it was just as good as Rear Window and holds the title of being one of the best thrillers I've ever seen.
Rope is a story about two students who strangle one of their colleagues because of how they want to see if they can pull off the "perfect" crime, and hide him in a drawer in their New York apartment. This killing takes place before a party and as it progresses, the guests begin to become more suspicious of the dead man's whereabouts and the killers become more nervous.
What I Liked About It:
First off, I absolutely loved the direction from Mr. Alfred Hitchcock. He structures the film as if it is an 80-minute long tracking shot and shoots the film in real time. The film literally starts off with the murder, and then it focuses on the killers and eventually the party guests and their interactions with one another as well. One of my favorite scenes is a scene where the nervous killer is playing piano while being sort of interrogated by their former prep school housemaster Rupert Cadell (James Stewart). As the film progresses, Hitchcock just has you asking yourselves "What is going to happen next?" or "How is it going to end?". Another thing I thought was interesting was how the nervous killer, Phillip, wears a red suit and the other who is more calm, Brandon, wears a blue shit. To me, it shows how Phillip is more guilty about the situation and Brandon is more calm and tranquil about it.
One thing I thought was unique about this film was how it not only focuses on the idea of committing the "perfect crime", but how these two men commit this murder also because of a superiority complex. They consider themselves to be intellectually superior to the colleague that they strangle. Plus, what to me, is rather frightening is that these two men are committing this murder because they wonder if they can do something incredibly evil and they realize they can. They aren't Freddy or Jason or Michael, just two normal students who commit a murder as a simple intellectual exercise. It shows how the people who seem the more modest or harmless can be the most deadly.
What I Didn't Like About It:
Overall, Rope is a gripping thriller that will leave you guessing up until the very end. This one I would recommend to everyone since even though it is a thriller, it is literally bloodless and is rather neat to sit through. Plus, I highly, and I mean, HIGHLY, recommend this to anyone who likes to study film. Definitely give this a watch!