Double Indemnity – 1944/Thriller
Adapted & Directed: Billy Wilder
Based on a novel by John Cain.
The entire story is narrated by Walter Neff, a charming insurance agent. Phyllis is rich man’s wife who happens to meet Neff once in her home. They slowly develop a friendship and gets into a relation. They get slowly into a dangerous and an almost perfect plan to murder the rich man. In turn, they plan to get the insurance money and lead a new life.
The plan looks easy but complicated as much as a big mess. Neff’s boss Barton Keyes, an outstanding insurance investigator who has a little guy inside him [intuition] leading him to crack any great case. With these elements, what happens is the plot for a perfect thriller. The story moves in flashbacks from Neff’s view and involves the clash of different fates of all the characters involved. That makes this movie a super thriller.
Alfred Hitchcock movies were the eye opener for me, which stated that black & white movies were not slow movies. There are certain films which move at the speed of a bullet train [ Tamil example : Gilli ]. There are many examples of this genre.. Spellbound(1945), The killing(1956), Strangers on a train are few to quote for now. This film is a classic example of a fast executed script.
The BGM is an inevitable part of storytelling – even I remember we used to narrate the action films with sounds and BGM.. In fact, even when we fight in childhood we make sounds [ Dishaaal, Dishyum 🙂 ]. That’s the power of BGM. This movie got the perfect BGM which enhances the thrill and increases our temptation to look for what happens next.
I liked the light and shadows part of this thriller. More’shadows’ are used in this film to represent the darkness of the events involved in the story. Somehow, this movie resembles ‘the strangers on a train’. The best part is the characterization of Barton Keyes. He is one of the sparkling and brilliant characters in the story. His dialogues are rally outstanding and soundly convincing. That’s the reason I used his dialogue as quoted in the beginning.
A perfect thriller for a Saturday night movie time.
It wasn’t an accident.. it wasn’t a suicide.. What it was then ?