Opera

1987

Horror / Mystery / Thriller

11
IMDb Rating 7 10 12899

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Dario Argento as Narrator
William McNamara as Stefano
Ian Charleson as Marco
Urbano Barberini as Inspector Alan Santini
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
926.28 MB
1280*544
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 1 / 6
1.73 GB
1920*816
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 47 min
P/S 1 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by sortofsatan 8 / 10

Betty is not an entirely normal girl

I've noticed that a lot of people are taking Opera to task for the way Betty reacts to the murders. I think they are basing these complaints on how they imagine a "normal" person would react. The thing is...Betty is not a "normal" person, due to traumatic events in her childhood. She has problems way way before the movie ever even starts...and by the end of Opera...in my opinion...she has become totally unhinged.

---------------------SPOILERS--------------------------------------- You have to keep in mind that when she was a very small child she witnessed her mother's lover commit at least one brutal murder while her sadomasochist mother was getting off watching it.

She was raised by a woman who achieves sexual release tied up watching girls get hacked, slashed, and strangled to death. That does not make for a healthy home life. I think it's pretty easy to conclude that her mother would have employed all sorts of emotional manipulation and negative reinforcement to ensure that her daughter never snitched on her. It is also likely that at her impressionable age, Betty might have been deeply confused by what she saw. Is this just something that adults do, etc.

Betty obviously looks up to her mother...I mean...she's become an opera singer just like her. If mommy likes it it can't be bad, can it...mommy can't be bad, can she? She couldn't tell the police on her mommy or this mysterious hooded fellow she associates with mommy.

Betty has a lot of deep-seated emotional issues. Her mind has for years been trying to block out the memory of what she saw her mother doing...but it keeps coming to the surface, manifesting itself in the form of horrible nightmares, skull-throbbing migraines, a dependence on relaxation techniques, and sexual frigidity She associates brutal violence/bloody death with sex on a subconscious level. There's an inner struggle between the part of Betty that has confused murder/sex and the part of her which believes these things to be wrong.

After she's seen her boyfriend murdered by the hooded man...she calls the police, yet is unwilling to give her name. The part of her that thinks murder is wrong forces her to make the call, but the part that is ambivalent won't allow her to admit personal involvement. The ambivalent part of her takes control before she can go all the way. So she walks away from the phone in the rain...and when she's picked up by the director she's acting surprisingly calm, not as upset as you would think a "normal" person would be...because the part of her that's been blocking stuff since she was a child is trying its damnedest to block the horror of what she's just witnessed.

The state of affairs in her life all contribute to an impasse within Betty's psyche. Her singing career is starting to bear fruit...she's going to be a great opera singer like her mother was. But is she going to become like her mother in all ways? In the darker ways? Or will she be able to make her own path? Add this to the re-emergence of the hooded man murdering everyone around her.

It's not until the hooded man kills Daria Nicolodi's character that Betty really takes an active role in defeating the killer. Here's someone who loves Betty, who's supported her wholeheartedly in her emerging career, who is in fact a maternal figure in Betty's life now since mommy's dead. Imagine how terrible it would be to lose your real mother and then to see the woman who is the closest thing you have to a mother get shot through the eyeball.

I could go on...but I won't. The main gist of what I'm saying is that the character of Betty is a lot more complex than most of the reviewers on here have been willing to acknowledge.

Opera is one of Argento's best...and not just for the visuals alone (although they are truly magnificent) and not just for the inventive murders (although they are). There is a depth here...and attention needs to be paid.

Reviewed by Nightman85 10 / 10

Perhaps the last of Argento's truly great films.

Although many have mixed feelings about this latter day giallo thriller from Argento, it still stands as another lavish testament to the cinematic brilliance that is Argento.

A young opera singer has her first break out performance and suddenly finds herself the subject of obsession for a crazed maniac.

In a way, Opera is like a modern-day giallo take on Phantom of the Opera blended with all the glorious style and color that one would expect Dario Argento to deliver. Argento makes terrific use of inventive camera techniques, reoccurring symbols (like those ravens!), Gothic atmosphere, and truly gruesome murder sequences. One scene especially (which involves a peep hole and a gun) will knock viewers right out of their seats! Story-wise the film also manages to be gripping with some strong suspense and given great atmosphere by Claudio Simonetti's gorgeous music score.

The cast does some satisfying performances. Cristina Marsillach is good as our leading lady. The late Ian Charleson does a nice turn as the director, as does Urbano Barberini as an investigator, Daria Nicolodi as Marsillach's agent, and William McNamara as Marsillach's ill-fated lover.

Opera is terrific latter day Argento, and perhaps the last of his great works. It's sure to please his fans and even create some new ones.

**** out of ****

Reviewed by hypostylin 9 / 10

The last great giallo?

Beware the Scottish Play! In his riveting and harrowing Opera, Dario Argento returns to classic form, regaining the composure he lost while filming convoluted and delirious psycho- shockers like Tenebre and Phenomena. Indeed, predicated on a simple narrative that is offset by opulent set pieces, imaginatively brutal murder sequences, and refined photography, the film feels like the Argento we once knew. Opera's only real infraction is its lack of a score by Goblin, who provided unusual, iconic, and timeless music for many of Argento's greatest films (the opera selections used here are wonderful, however).

The production is filled out by several competent actors. While she's no Jessica Harper, Annabella Sciorra lookalike Cristina Marsillach manages enough pluck and compassion to grasp the role of the tortured heroine. Ian Charleson is interesting as horror-film-helmer- turned-opera-director Marco. And Daria Nicolodi is fantastic as always, even in her relatively brief role (watch the making of featurette on the DVD for a hilarious interview with Nicolodi about her role -- clearly brash and resentful over the end of her relationship with Argento!) Fans of Stage Fright (another excellent 1987 giallo, directed by Michele Soavi, who served as the second unit director for Opera) will barely recognize the final girl from that film, Barbara Cupisti, as a stage manager here (I think it's the glasses that do it).

With me, it's often the little things that matter, and Argento's fascination/obsession with solitary nightmarish images makes him my ideal filmmaker. Opera is full of minor details that left me smirking. For instance, I love that we never see "The Great" Mara Czekova's face. I also love the scene where the killer is scraping the tip of his/her deadly sharp dagger across a television screen showing Betty's performance as Lady Macbeth. Finally, I defy even the most grizzled slasher veterans not to cringe as the "pin grates" are placed over Betty's eyes.

In short, Opera is a clean, tense, and taut thriller. With its solid performances, lucid focus, and literate cinematography, it begs to be in the same league as Deep Red and The Bird With the Crystal Plumage. Might Opera be the last great giallo?

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