Saturday, October 5, 2013

Vertigo - Alfred Hitchcock

When it was released in 1958, Vertigo received mixed critics and barely broke even. In 2012, it replaced Citizen Kane "as the best movie of all time" in the Sight & Sound critics poll. The value of the lists including  the best (or worst) movies is in the eyes of the beholder. The fact is, though, that Vertigo has been rehabilitated since Alfred Hitchcock filmed it.

I found Vertigo slow and excesively long. The plot is quite decent but, as is usually the case in movies, Hitchcock tries to solve everything in the last 15 minutes after 2 hours of forgetable scenes that barely provide any information. I tend to agree with the contemporaneous critics of the movie, which didn't see anything innovative in Vertigo. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find anything online which could help me understand why Vertigo became a cult movie either. For once, Wikipedia didn't provide any useful information, and most of the critiques that I came across on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes just tell me that I have to choose between liking the movie or feel like an idiot -the critiques that didn't put me in that juncture were spoilers. 

I can only guess that Vertigo is currently considered a masterpiece because professional critics started saying so and then the crowd followed. Vertigo has all the things that critics love about movies: some subtle sexual messages (which go mostly unadverted by modern audiences), a twisted plot, and an amibguous ending. 

The fact that Vertigo is considered a masterpiece is, I guess, one of the reasons you should watch it. But don't expect too much about it.

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