By Matt Brunson
THE DOUBLE HOUR
DIRECTED BY Giuseppe Capotondi
STARS Ksenia Rappoport, Filippo Timi
Giuseppe Capotondi made his directorial debut with The Double Hour while the picture's three screenwriters all began plying their trade in 2005. Presumably, all of these relative newbies spent the previous years watching endless cycles of twisty thrillers and taking as many notes as possible. But based on the evidence of this film, their hands began cramping before they finished jotting down pointers on how to maintain interest from first frame to last.
After a gripping (and bloody) opening, this Italian import emerges as a mature romance between a hotel maid named Sonia (Ksenia Rappoport) and an ex-cop named Guido (Filippo Timi). But a burglary committed by a group of masked thugs ends in tragedy for the couple, and from this point forward, the film starts messing with both character and viewer minds with all manner of unusual clues and fake outs. Unfortunately, this is one of those labyrinthine yarns that becomes less interesting as more mysteries are unraveled, and one of the major plot pirouettes will strike many viewers as a cheat. The Double Hour obviously wants to be compared to efforts by the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Brian De Palma and Christopher Nolan, but it's ultimately like watching a child clamoring to sit at the table of the grownups.