Vertigo Review – An outstanding Hitchcock classic

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I’ve not ever considered myself a fan of Alfred Hitchcock. Presumably that’s because before I’d watched Vertigo, I’d only ever seen one of his movies, the iconic Psycho. I’d found that to be a solid enough movie, but the bloated resonance of the movie as one of the greatest of all time really put a damper on my viewing, especially when I’d class it as just alright. Still, it seems that Hitchcock was no stranger to producing iconic 50s and 60s movies, and Vertigo seems to be much more up my street than any of his other work.

Starring the renowned and ever brilliant James Stewart, Vertigo follows a man suffering from that very condition. As leading man material, Stewart really gets stuck in and tries his best to make this one of the most interesting Hitchcock movies available. His performance throughout blends the professionalism of a private detective with the lust and love of a lonely man. A definitely strong role for Stewart, who manages to hold his own and really stand out as a superb actor throughout.

But this wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the excellent supporting cast that surround his role. Kim Novak in particular plays a resounding and interesting love interest that later establishes Stewart’s character better than he could ever dream of. Novak’s dual performance as Madeleine Ester and Judy Barton is some really strong work and her performance is notably consistent throughout.

As far as plot devices go, Vertigo has very few yet manages to be consistently entertaining and forthright in its tensions. Framing devices, soundtrack and lighting are all utilised to their strongest degree. Hitchcock’s focus on smaller components of movie making certainly make his movie so much better than it has any right to be. He’s very reliant on the uncanny chemistry between Stewart and Novak, which luckily manages to carry the slower parts of the movie.

Without a doubt this is the movie Hitchcock utilised his direction best, transporting us into this world building fully with some excellent pieces of cinematography. If I’d seen more of Hitchcock’s filmography, I’d surely appreciate this more. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway, but the more work I see of his, the more I’m convinced he’s not all that amazing. Surely Rear Window or The Birds will finally allow me to decide whether or not this Hitchcock guy is all that, right?


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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Vertigo
Ewan Gleadow
I've been writing for various different places for roughly four or five years now. Currently focusing my writing on film reviews, politics and occasional game reviews. Hopefully you enjoy my work, be sure to contact me if you have any criticisms or praise.

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