Professione: reporter (The Passenger) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Professione: reporter (The Passenger) Reviews

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½ June 15, 2017
Highly acclaimed Antonioni film has amazing cinematography, but its enigmatic tale of hopelessness and loneliness will either hypnotize you or drive you to tears of boredom.
May 1, 2017
I found this to be a dry, artsy fartsy film, sure to bore anyone you show it to. Beautiful looking but didn't entertain me much
April 15, 2017
Antonioni's masterpiece with incredibly astonishing performance by then a proper actor Jack Nicholson, undoubtedly one of his best performances, before he plunged into easy roles for him as an ironic and sarcastic man with mysterious smile. It's also nice to see the lovely Maria Schneider in a different from Last Tango role.
December 4, 2016
Proving himself to be versatile when it comes to languages, Michelangelo Antonioni's The Passenger boasts an incomparable turn from Jack Nicholson, and some of the most stunning camerawork I have ever seen in a motion picture.
October 9, 2016
This film has one of the most favorite scenes in all the films I've ever watched - In the car / Girl "What are you running away from?" / Locke "Turn your back to the front seat." / She sees a long avenue of trees. At this moment, I can sense the existence of something intangible in the images. Yes, people wants to run away from everything at a certain point in their lives.
June 12, 2016
"I used to be somebody else, but I traded him in"

"The Passenger" is a fascinating movie, a cinematic and philosophical masterpiece. I love Antonioni, and this is one of his best. I have watched it several times through the years, each time opening for myself a new moment or a new meaning. The acting is superb, and so is the camera work. The final scene that lasts for seven minutes without anything really happening is sublime. There is also a deep philosophical theme in the movie, uniquely different from other films of the time that also show dissatisfied, lost, or marginalized characters.

Much has been written about the existential symbolism of the film, and it certainly pervades it on a grand scale. However, there is an interesting aspect of this movie which sets it apart from other existentialistic works. In a Sartre-like view, a man is alienated from reality and does not feel welcome in the world nor connected with mankind. But in "The Passenger", it is David Locke's own life that is actually hostile to him. Let me try to explain what I mean. Like many people, he is trying to run away from mundane reality, the job that has been making him jaded, the marriage that's lost its flame. However, instead of making piecemeal changes, he tries to replace his life as a whole - reject it and become someone else. And now it is life itself that's after him, ready to punish him for violating the rules of engagement. It's as if he is just a vessel owned by life, which destroys him as soon as he tries to take matters in his own hands.

At some point in the movie David says that he used to be somebody else, but traded him in (by the way, what a fabulous line). He boasts - he thinks he is in control of his life choices, but will soon find out otherwise. What crushes him in the end is not fate or circumstances or his past that catches up with him - it is life itself, ejecting an unruly passenger. Such juxtaposition of life with a man as a separate, all-powerful entity is unique in the artistic portrayal of existential struggle.

The original title of the movie (in Italian) was "Profession: Reporter". This title would have made perfect sense if the character was an estranged observer of life. However, Jack Nicholson's character is truly a passenger - he is not in the driver's seat, and his privileges are pretty limited. His connection to life is neither cordial nor caring, the same way as there is no human connection between a train passenger and the train operator. David Locke has violated the rules, and his ticket is canceled. The train will continue forward without him.

Captivating and mysterious Maria Schneider plays The Girl. As David jumps from one city to another, he keeps running into her. She is quite an ephemeral character, floating from place to place, seemingly not attached to any mundane or conventional activity like work or family. Having no name in the movie suits her character perfectly - one less connection to real life. Perhaps this is the only kind of people who David can interact with now and who can deal with him. When the police ask David's wife to identify his dead body, she says she doesn't know him. It is true - he has become a complete stranger to her. But when they ask the girl if she knows David, she says yes. Even though they have met only recently, they seem to be people of the same kind. Perhaps like him, the girl is also a passenger? Perhaps we all are.
May 2, 2016
"- I've run out of everything - my wife... the house... an adopted child... a successful job... everything except a few bad habits I could not get rid of."
A movie about identity crisis
April 1, 2016
I don't give 5 full stars to many films but this really deserves them. This is an unusual, original story with an excellent cast and beautiful locations. I think the main draw of this is that you see that the mind of such a cool character like Nicholson's is nowhere near as cool underneath. The contrast is disturbing, the whole idea of this story is disturbing but it does look so nice, another film metaphor for a Smiths song.
March 4, 2016
Quite slow film with a solid story and sublime images and color usage. Jack Nicholson is portraying a war reporter that manage to fake his death to escape his life. He seems fed up with it.

Things does not turn so much better, but we are taking a trip around Europe as he hooks up with people. A mixture of "Bonnie & Clyde" and "No Country For Old Men" but never as tense. This is slow, pretty and got a very European look. Great acting and a fantastic final shot that will be the thing to remember from this quite disappointing film me.

6.5 out of 10 cigarette bummers.
November 9, 2015
A lesser director would have made an overbearing international thriller, but Director Antonioni has taken this story about a man yearning to escape his own identity (played wonderfully by Jack Nicholson) and made it into a blunt portrait of existential isolation.
½ October 18, 2015
To a certain extent, all human beings want to die. We struggle to survive in an unforgiving world, cultural divides separating groups who will never have a real feel for what it means to identify as another as we try to deal with the perceptions and conceptions of our sense of self; rebirth through death offers both reincarnation and release from the confines of these issues with identity, though Antonioni makes it clear that this effort would ultimately prove to be futile given the conditions of life.

The Passenger focuses on the lack of identity human beings struggle with in a global network, constantly running away from where they've previously been in an effort to find new purpose. Nature's ambivalent presence follows the pair wherever they go, a constant reminder of the pointlessness of this endeavor. There are an infinite number of trajectories a life can take (an idea communicated through shots of revolving doors, aerial lift lines, roads) and regardless of how many times we try to veer off course, the destination is always the same. The global disconnect perpetuated by modern interaction only perpetuates this phenomena (this disconnect made plain through an emphasis on architecture unique to different parts of the world).

Antonioni's work is always, in some way or another, a fixation on the ultimate insignificance of human life and individual identity. The modes of communication change (Red Desert focusing on the friction between nature and industry, L'Avventura looking at the impossibility of true human interaction, The Passenger repositioning these themes in a global environment), but the result is the same. Plot is arbitrary, as is the story of a life; when viewed up close, the point is indecipherable. When viewed in the context of the the grand scheme of things through the filter of existentialism, we're nothing. The fact that a message so depressing is constantly spellbinding is a testament to his craft.
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
½ October 8, 2015
The Passenger is an alright film. The story and acting by Nicholson hold interest throughout. The main character is someone who does not want to be who he is, someone who does not want to associate. This isn't portrayed with a lot of anguish. Rather, it is played very low-key and holds a universal resonance. The audience can identify with this character, played by an actor with natural charisma, who simply wants to get away from life. The film wants to say some things and to be taken seriously, but the mixture of detached style, low production values, mediocre film-making (with an odd nice shot here or there), and the overall aged quality all make for a non-involved experience. The film does not motivate the viewer to understand beyond simple observation.
½ October 7, 2015
I wonder if most of the love for this film comes from the cinematography and pacing, which is wonderful. I absolutely LOVE the photography which perfectly matches the direction and the slow, contemplative tone. But there doesn't seem to be much substance to contemplate. It doesn't seem to be saying much other than a very 70s sense of things are bleak. Thus, it comes across a whiny instead of emotionally powerful. Beautifully shot though.
½ October 1, 2015
Always intriguing, this is a very detached style of film-making and it's a moody, slightly rough production. The story is somewhat strange, but is a wonderful comment on reality and existence.
½ December 28, 2014
Yes, The Cinematography Is Above Par For It's 1975 Production Period...But, The Story Is No 'Thriller', It's A Slow, Unengaging & Rather Boring Drama. For This Reason I Switched Off. It Needed A Better Soundtrack Rather Than The Long, Over-Drawn Shots Of Landscape & Vistas.
½ August 7, 2014
Maria schneider working with both Nickolshon and Brando increased her career while both Last tango in paris and Professione: reporter became classics.
May 12, 2014
Running a little over two hours, "The Passenger" makes the viewer feel every minute of it. But hey, the visuals are nice.
February 20, 2014
Um dos melhores filmes da história, sem sombra de dúvidas! Tem Jack Nicholson em uma de suas melhores performances e um dos mais memoráveis plano seqüência já concebido pela sétima arte! Só isso não basta?
January 26, 2014
Good film, but it created no emotion for me, I was left indifferent to it.
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