Ross Anthony Note:
Up at the Villa
Review by Ross Anthony

Ross Anthony Note:

In the film, Mary assumes Karl (the Austrian) kills himself. This scene is shot well, indeed one of the picture's finest moments. I loved it when Mary closes her eyes; we, too, have our eyes closed (via camera angle choice) as the shot rings out. She opens her eyes slowly to peer over the bed to see what's happened; we, too, see only what she does.

This serves two purposes: 1) puts us in lead character action. 2) Opens up the possibilities of other causes of death besides suicide. Namely, Sean Penn - he alludes to "doing anything for love" in a subsequent scene. Additionally, he was the giver of the flowers, so why wouldn't we expect him to stalk the next evening, finding the two "lovers" in the quarrel, letting the event unfold, then saving her at the last minute. Then, "protecting" her in the morning. I enjoyed wondering if this was the case. In fact, we're left to wonder that even at the film's end. However, the synopsis provided by production notes simply states that Karl kills himself in despair. If, in fact, the book made it clear, I applaud the film's director for making it less so. You know, it could have been anyone who killed Karl - the Italian officer, Edgar, or even the Princess - fun thoughts indeed.

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Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:43:53 PDT