Thursday, April 1, 2010


“Instincts are wonderful things, isn’t it…its pity it can’t be

A brilliant psychological thriller made by British filmmaker Michael Powell where a camera obsessed voyeur- psychopath killer capturing the last moments of his victims on handheld camera. It certainly stands next to any of classic psychological thriller whether it’s Polanski or Master Hitchcock’s best films, including ‘Psycho’ which was released in the same year.

The great thing about the film is Powell’s treatment; its almost told and shot from the point of view of voyeur named Mark who’s suffering from neurological disorder. Keeping Mike always focused as peeping Tom from various spaces, he’s compulsive voyeur who’s watching and filming everything about his subjects even after things were over. You can say that camera is his alter-ego and also an Achilles heel why cops sniff him. The dark past experience of his life was also told through the screening moments on projector where we witness his sadistic biologist father throwing lights or dropping lizards on his child’s bed to experiment reactions of the nervous system to the fear in young child.

The film also bears some interesting characters like the blind women whose sixth sense is more powerful than normal ones. There’re some lighter moments too where an old man hesitates to ask for erotic magazines; perhaps another social voyeur who’s seeking pleasure! It was shot almost in classic vibrant colors by Otto Heller keeping the thrilling atmosphere and tone throughout. The other film I would like to compare is Antonioni’s déjà vu classic ‘Blow Up’.

Director Sam Mandes paid homage to Powell’s this masterpiece in his ‘Road to Perdition’ where Jude Law’s psychopathic character is derived from Mike.

Need I write ‘Must Watch’!


Luv said...

After reading your review as I was looking for the film, a friend told me of 1978 hit Sigappu Rojakkal which based its basic plot on Peeping Tom. I am told it is at least as good if not better, is supposedly first Tamil film to have an anti-hero (difficult to believe coz many a Kamal Haasan film have that first-ever myth associated with them). I have been looking for it, still to locate a copy.

By the way, it has been remade in Telugu with same leads (Kamal Sir & Sidevi), in Hindi as Red Rose (Rajesh Khanna, been told it is pathetic) and Japanese as Red Roses...makes feel it must be a great watch...lets see...

HIREN DAVE said...

well didn't know about this regional inspiration...i love to watch anything by Kamal but its too hard to get the torrents with subtitles...if possible suggest me some quality torrent sites where i can get srt files too. By the way got 'kanchivaram'& "Harishchandrachi Factory'with english srt...will catch 'em soon.