Monday, October 11, 2010

I Confess

Hitchcock, 1953, 95m

A priest is suspected of murder. He knows who is the true culprit but this knowledge has been conveyed to him as part of a priveleged communication, a confession made to him as a priest. Since this is not complicated enough to make a movie about, a love triangle is dug up from the past, and the priests former beloved is the sole witness who can contribute evidence in his favour. That's enough for the plot.

The film builds up moderate suspense which is ehough to keep you hooked if not glued, and beyond a point one is prepared to rough out through the two hours to know how things turn out, since who done it is clear from page one. Brand name Hitchcock provides furthur motivation.

The Master probably was constrained to churn out films with a certain frequency, and his oeuvre is a mixed bag of apples. Karl Malden as the detective gives us a rounded and pleasing portrayal, and this is one of the redeeming features of this lack lustre movie. But then one can get addicted to a director no less than to an author ( Wodehouse, Erle Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie, John Grisham are all abusable substances ).


Nathanael Hood said...

This is easily one of my all-time favorite Hitchcock films.

I think the real reason that I love it so much is that it so powerfully resonates with my faith as a Christian.

There were tears in my eyes the first time that I watched it...

S M Rana said...

I agree. The spiritual or religious aspect of the film is unusual for Hitchcock, though he uses the idea of the confessional more as a plot device than a statement about faith. But now that you mention it the character reminded me a of Bunuel's Nazarin, even in looks.

There is a Rashomon phenomenon about movies too--we all see different movies in the same movie. All we can bring to our writing about films is the individuality of our own reaction, the more individual the better.