• Friday, Feb 03, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Honest review of ‘Rebecca’ (2020): Just watch Hitchcock’s version

  • Published at 12:58 pm November 18th, 2020
Rebecca (2020)
Armie Hammer and Lily James in Rebecca (2020)

Netflix thought it would be a splendid idea to reheat a perfectly cooked Hitchcock film, adding a few ingredients back from the book the auteur had diligently left out

When Alfred Hitchcock made the film, Rebecca (1940), only two years after the release of Daphne du Maurier’s gothic novel of the same title, it must’ve been both relevant and relatable, because it made mammoth waves at the time. It’s still lauded as a classic, having won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Cinematography that year. About 40 years later, BBC made the book into a 4-part mini-series, which was also well received. The story should have been laid to rest after that point, since the central theme of a woman’s paralyzing jealousy of an ex-wife and complete dependence on her husband would not sit well with modern liberal women, except for maybe the real housewives of Beverly Hills. No offence. 

Another 40 years on, a time span far too long in the realm of annual Hollywood reboots, Netflix thought it would be a splendid idea to reheat a perfectly cooked Hitchcock film, adding a few ingredients back from the book the auteur had diligently left out. There really was nothing to extract from this remake other than fleeting new discoveries like- Armie Hammer looks ravishing in a mustard yellow suit or the French Riviera is more spectacular in colour. Hitchcock’s film was of course in black and white.  

What does one take away from this film after investing two hours gaping at an uncomfortably tight suit? The third act. Hitchcock’s film ended in a rush without explaining how Rebecca died, as though he customarily ran out of budget. If one is curious by nature and simply must know those detes and can't get enough of Armie Hammer (guilty) and can’t be bothered to read a 416-page-long depressing book (guilty again), only then it would make any sense to stream Rebecca (2020).

Also read: 'Enola Holmes' review: Sloppy sleuthing salvaged by fiery feminism

Ben Wheatley’s Rebecca was dumbfounding at times. It’s hard to have to watch a grown woman be patronized throughout the film like that. The wealthy Maxim de Winter (Hammer) admires his young bride for her childlike innocence. He even begrudges her “growing up” after the ordeals surrounding his deceased wife, Rebecca. We know nothing about this new Mrs de Winter (Lily James), not even her first name. Her identity is restricted to being the lady of the mansion, Manderly, a place haunted by her predecessor’s memories, reminiscences the housekeeper Mrs Danvers (Kristin Scott Thomas), will hold on to at any cost. 

Even with the extended third act, this remake is utterly unnecessary. Maybe if enough remakes do as badly, Hollywood will finally start to write something original. In a city where every Uber driver has a script, or ten, that shouldn’t be too hard. 

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail