Brooklyn-based Icarus Films awesomely ventures beyond releasing the best produced and most thought-provoking international documentaries out there to release the 2012 Charlotte Rampling/Gabriel Byrne British noir film "I, Anna" on DVD. This 21st century answer to the "Fatal Attraction" led '80s resurrection of Golden Age style thrillers comes out on June 21, 2016.
The following YouTube clip of the theatrical trailer for "Anna" provides a good sense of the strong visual images, psychological aspects of the story, and the overall suspense. These three minutes alone prove once again that the Brits kick the arse of Americans regarding every genre on screens both large and small.
First-time director Barnaby Southcombe chooses wisely in casting household names Gabriel Byrne and Charlotte Rampling to star in this "blink and you'll miss something" thriller. The most significant Hitchcockian elements include telling the story from the perspective of the titular divorcee/prime suspect and creating intrigue regarding the extent and the cause of her clear mental distress.
Rampling excels in this challenging role, as does Byrne regarding the part of D.C.I. Benrie Reid. Having Bernie insinuate himself into the life of Anna in the role of a suitor creates good drama while making the audience question the ethics of that investigative technique.
In his role as writer, Southcombe provides a wonderful lesson straight out of "Introduction to Criminal Law" in law school. The audience learns early in the film that the victim is a man with whom Anna goes home after meeting him at a speed dating event. We also know that Anna sees the corpse in the aftermath of the killing.
Aside from doubt regarding the identity of the killer remaining throughout most of the film. we also do not know the degree of guilt of Anna if she is whodunit. The possibilities include an unprovoked attack, self-defense, and an accident.
The narrative techniques include flashbacks and "Rashomon" style repeats of significant events from the perspectives of different characters. These devices terrifically add pieces to the puzzle while simultaneously deepening the mystery.
This trifecta of director, cast. and story results in a well-presented oft-told tale as old as time. The story, rather than the minimal sex and violence, drive the film. Further, everyone whom we meet easily could be someone we pass on the street. This holds true even regarding the 11th hour surprise regarding a character. The fact is that we rarely know what is occurring in the life and/or head of anyone.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Anna" is strongly encouraged to either email me or to connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.