La doppia ora
Why don’t they make more movies like La doppia ora in America? Oh yes: too much sex not optimized for titillation and not enough explosions. Instead we get character, story, mystery, and intrigue; who would want to watch a movie like that?
Sonia (Kseniya Rappoport) is a chambermaid in a hotel in Turin, recently arrived from Ljubljana. She fills her days listening to her coworker Margherita (Antonia Truppo) ramble on about men, and avoiding the advances of a mildly creepy long-staying businessman. That is, until one night at a speed-dating event she meets Guido (Filippo Timi) and lets him take her home.
Things start a bit rocky, but something about her charms him. Guido used to work for the police, but now he heads up security for a private estate out in the woods. He takes her there to show her — turning off the alarms so they can walk through the forest — only to be caught off-guard when two moving vans full of thieves show up to rob the place. After carting off everything that’s not bolted down, the leader threatens to rape Sonia. Guido, charges him, only to be shot. And that’s where things start to get weird.
Sonia returns to work with a scar on her brow where the bullet grazed her after passing through Guido’s body. She’s stressed and distracted; she sees Guido’s face on a security camera; she hears their song in her bathroom; her lights flicker on and off, and Guido is standing in the shadows. It doesn’t help that one of Guido’s former colleagues keeps hovering around, insinuating that she might have had something to do with the robbery. Worse yet, he gives her a photograph from Guido’s effects: Guido and Sonia embracing in front of a bridge in Buenos Aires, where she has never been and certainly never with Guido. Is she being haunted? is someone playing tricks on her? is it all in her head?
First time film director Giuseppe Capotondi does a great job of building suspense through the first half of the movie, and then completely switches gears. As we learn more, we focus more on the characters and their motivations, which he handles almost as deftly. Timi is good, but Rappoport is excellent in her part, running the full emotional gamut across the course of the film. She draws the audience in, making us eager to find out just what’s going on, and what’s going to happen next once we do find out.
Worth It: yes.
Bechdel Test: pass.