Posted on 1/15/14 04:58 PM
I first saw Frenzy, 30 yrs ago as a young man and saw it as a masoganistic minor Hitchcock film, sloppily made and easily forgettable. I saw it as a last ditch effort, by a once film master, to return to the directorial form he enjoyed with films like Psycho and North By Northwest.
I had a rare chance to revisit the film on the big screen recently and now that I am approximatly the same age that Hitchcock was when he directed Frenzy, I saw what Hitchcock had created in an entirely new light. The viewing was nothing short of an epiphany for me.
I saw Frenzy as an homage to his wife and maybe even an apology to all women after years of objectifying them in his films. From a man who became defined by the brutal and titilating shower scene in Psycho, maybe this was a chance at redemption.
The film takes place during the reign of terror by a serial killer in London, who rapes and then strangles his victims using a necktie. Through a series of unlucky events one man is investigated and charged by the police, while the real killer continues to stalk the streets.
But what I believe the film is truly about is an end of life realization by Hitchcock that women are the true heroes in our lives. If you examine every woman in this film you soon realize their one focus is to bring love and joy to the people and more specifically the men around them. The main characters ex-wife secretly slips money into his pocket when she sees that he is down on his luck. The police chiefs wife who continually tries to broaden his culinary apetite as she chides him to look at the case from a new perspective. They are all smart, organized, humble and generous to a fault. Even the rape scene feels more like a woman finally giving in to her dates advances. And what does she get for it ? Suffocation, using the one symbolic item of clothing that is distinctly male. A necktie...
Where as all the men come across as bumbling self serving clowns , who dont see what they have right in front of them. And seem to treat the murders as more of a means of entertainment. In fact one of the pivotal scenes where the killer gets stuck in a potato truck trying to retrieve a piece of evidence off a corpse comes across as more slapstick than suspense.
Bravo Mr Hitchcock for showing that it is not your film that is masoganistic, but it is the men that inhabit them.
Love the women in your life....dont suffocate them....or you may lose them for good....