Partially successful ...
- The Suspicious Death of a Minor review by NP
This Italian giallo film contains a tremendous musical score: that is the first thing I noticed. Luciano Michelini’s funky, jaunty soundtrack permeates throughout, bringing to life scenes of police procedure and making the action sequences even better. There are even moments of comedy in here. Are they successful? Not in the slightest, in my view, although other opinions are equally justified. To me they undermine the atmosphere without adding anything extra that is successful.
Where Sergio Martino’s direction really shines, however, is in the chase and shooting set-pieces, the best being a tremendous shoot-out on a roller-coaster ride. The fusion of calamity and the rattling soundtrack guarantees enjoyment.
A shame that such urgency isn’t injected into more of the 100 minutes, or that some pruning couldn’t have been done. For however energetic certain moments are, the film is a little too long and could have done with perhaps losing 15 minutes.
Is Martino’s mixture of styles a success? Partially, I’d say. But ultimately, I prefer my giallo more consistently dark and without the flights of comedy. It is good, but not great. Whilst it is pleasing to see the director experiment with an established style, his crowning achievement remains 1971’s untouchable ‘Strange Case of Mrs Wardh.’
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