2019 Film Reviews - 29: Vertigo [dir. Alfred Hitchcock; 1958]

There really isn’t anything one can say about Vertigo that hasn’t already been said, but watching it again with someone who’d never seen it before, I was particularly struck by the cruelty of the James Stewart character towards the end of the story, as he ‘rediscovers’ Kim Novak and tries to force her into the image of the woman he’s lost. As far as presentations of a person’s psyche go, this must be amongst the most unforgiving, as bleak and bitter as the surrounding visuals are lush and textured. It’s the unsettling juxtaposition of these elements - together with all the other perplexing contrasts present in the story - that throws up something new with each viewing, drawing you further into that zooming abyss and securing the film’s status as one of the most intriguing, unfathomable works of all time.



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