The Passenger Review

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David Locke, reporter on assignment in North Africa, finds a dead man in the hotel room next to his. They resemble eachother, so he decides to swap identities and lives...


Michelangelo Antonioni’s forgotten 1975 curio forms a loose quest trilogy with L’Avventura (1960) and Blow-Up (1966). While its predecessors concern searches for a missing girl and a corpse that might never have been, this anti-thriller centres on a man who assumes the identity of a stranger in a doomed bid to find himself.

The fact that he fails so meekly is conveyed in a closing shot of famed ingenuity and terrifying bleakness, as it confirms the utter futility of existence.

Jack Nicholson — playing unusually downbeat — exudes ennui as the globetrotting reporter posing as a dead arms dealer, while Maria Schneider emerges from her Last Tango shadow as the fellow traveller who is intrigued and moved by his desperate deception.

A bleak and moving drama with reflective performance from Jack Nicolson