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Quick-Thoughts: Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now (1973)

There are projects out there that attempt to make its audience question their interpretations by deducing a game-changing ending. Don’t Look Now puts you so accurately into the main character John Baxter’s position after the death of his daughter, that for a near two hours, it wraps you up in his drama of wanting to let go, but at the same time, wanting to find a possibility of somehow getting her back in his life. Yet, as we know by now, Nicolas Roeg, a director who implements some of cinema’s most violating editing and narrative structures to date, has no fear in changing what we thought we knew at the very last second. The final moments of Don’t Look Now tweak nearly everything we had thought we were seeing, and reminds us that our infatuation with John and his wife Laura’s fleeting hope was what completely blinded us from seeing what was there all along, right in plain sight. 

We don’t get films such as Lars von Trier’s Antichrist or Ari Aster’s Hereditary without Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now: a sharp meld of real-life drama, paranoia, and uncut horror. While the movie may seem tediously familiar at first glance during a majority of its runtime, it’s ending surely will put matters into a new perspective. Sometimes we are so emotionally preoccupied on a possibility to rejoice with our past that we lose sight of our current reality—and as you know, our ever-changing reality can be often dangerous. If we choose to ignore the little details that go on around us in modern society due to how wrapped up we are in our imagination or regret, it may lead us to conclusions we wouldn’t see fit to impale. 

Verdict: B

“Don’t Look Now” is now available to stream on Showtime, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube, and Vudu.

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