For Reel

The Fury (1978)
August 5, 2016, 9:45 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Brian De Palma
3 Stars
The Fury Devotees of Brian De Palma’s cinema have treated The Fury as a litmus test for one’s appreciation of the director. It is aggressively confrontational in its approach to many of the elements De Palma is known for—a central metaphor regarding a sexual awakening is delightfully perverse, the violence is sensationalized, and it is marked by contrasts in the most extreme sense of the word. In the first scene, a vacation between father and son is interrupted by the invasion of apparent terrorists, interrupting beachside relaxation with squibs and explosions. Similarly, De Palma’s visual strategy is as rigorous as it gets, obsessing over intricate angles and split diopter shots even in simple, plot-progressing conversations. But the argument that The Fury makes the case for whether one gets De Palma or not seems to reduce the director to a glorified pervert—if it is a quintessential De Palma film in the sense that it demonstrates his technique to the absolute extremes (if this is the argument, Scarface is just as worthy of an example), it ignores the moderation of his previous efforts. De Palma’s great contrasts are all but lost after the first scene, which plunges the film into a never-ending deluge of directorial excess.

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