Juni 02, 2019

Review Shadow of a Doubt (1943)


“SHADOW OF A DOUBT” (1943)
By Alfred Hitchcock | USA
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Hitchcock can really do no wrong. “Shadow of a Doubt” is yet another prove of this statement; a common display of his mastery in building tension and in this case, mystery, to a jaw clenching degree. His understanding of the cinematic language — as to how he uses his shots, editing and soundtracks — are impeccable and should forever be held in the same regard of his contemporary, the legendary Orson Welles or even some of cinema’s first innovators such as Albert Smith and Eisenstein.
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What’s unique about “Shadow of a Doubt” however, lies with the fact of how strikingly relevant the premise is. The story of a beloved public figure who secretly hides a dark secret waiting to be exposed is unfortunately, a common occasion in these recent times. Yet it is not the surface of such stories that raises the most concerns, it is the fact that it’s often harder to let go of the person we’ve come to love them to be in order to acknowledge the monster they are capable of being. Spacey, Louise C.K., and even recently, fan favorite superstar Michael Jackson, being some examples of such unfortunate cases. Where the question of legacy versus justice became scarily blurred and delivering the deft hand of the law carries the biggest weight. Uncle Charlie may just be a monster, but its too painful for his family to see to the truth of that fact. And as a family such doubt is certainly the right choice, is it not?
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The dilemma that the film brought works well as a reflection of the struggles that many victims of these heinous figures must’ve felt at some point. Similarly to the more recent film, Jennifer Fox’ “The Tale”, it discusses the topic of a predatory individual in a complete and rounded way. It doesn’t paint an easy picture and potrays all the complexities of knowing a predator personally; how much you are morally challenged and broken with disappointment. Especially — such as this case — that person is a figure you’ve based your persona on.
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“Shadow of a Doubt” is a film that cohere to our current social climate and epidemic of predatory behavior in Hollywood and, in every where in fact. Accidental or not, it is these values that made this 70 years old Hitchcock classic not only stood the test of time, but even rose through its age. Now it’s time for us to decide whether the same story shall goes on another 70 years from now, or shall we swallow our guilt and dilemmas in order to serve justice — the only thing that matters.
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