Don't Look Now

Starring: Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie & Hilary Mason
Warner Home Video/Canal Plus
RRP 15.99
Certificate: 18
Available now

Don't Look Now, based on a Daphne Du Maurier short story, opens with architect Sutherland and wife Christie on a working holiday in Venice recovering from the recent drowning of their young daughter. The death has created an emotional hole at the heart of their relationship which is fed, and in turn feeds, their guilt over the death of their little girl. But echoes of the drowning start to take over their lives with a supernatural invasiveness which further fuels a growing level of paranoia and shame...

The main problem with Don't Look Now is that its plot and structure cannot support a 1 hour 40 minute movie. Excessive scenes of atmospherics - 'meaningful' shots and cutaways - pepper the editing to a point where they interrupt the relationship between the viewer and the action. The film tries too hard to build an atmosphere and as a result often becomes laboured which is a shame as there is much to recommend it; not least its excellent lighting and its use of water as a dramatic motif - Venice and the drowning.

The print transfer for this DVD is excellent for a film of this age and the sound is also clean and clear. And in order to guard against the excessive over-scan on some TV sets the transfers has been framed in a black border to offset the image loss inherent on many domestic TVs. Take note DVD producers - this is a good idea, please incorporate it more often.

Anthony Clark

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