Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: The January Sale!
Try 3 issues of Empire magazine for just £1
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Rupert Everett
Ornella Muti
Gian Maria Volonte
Irene Papas.
Directors
Francesco Rosi.
Screenwriters
Tonino Guerra
Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Running Time
107 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Zulu
3 Star Empire Rating
Two For The Road
3 Star Empire Rating
Thief
4 Star Empire Rating
Sirius
2 Star Empire Rating
Giver, The
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Duke of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
EMPIRE ESSAY: When Harry Met Sally
5 Star Empire Rating
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating
Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating

Chronicle of a Death Foretold
A film at last to tackle the four big issues of our time, of any time: love, death, marriage and paddle steamers.


submit to reddit


Plot
A young man, Santiago, is knifed in his small Latin American village. Rather than uproar, there is a regination in the villagers as the Vicario brothers had announced the murder beforehand, as vengeance for the loss of their sister. Rosi's film backtracks and tells the story of how and why the murder took place.


Review
Making a film of one of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novels was never going to be easy - look at Love in the Time of Cholera or One Hundred Years of Solitude; novels that span the centuries, weaving family histories with myth and reality. Chronicle of a Death Foretold is, perhaps, easier to film in that it invites a fairly straightforward flashback format and covers a period of just 27 years.

Rosi captures the lush Latin American settings well, the humidity and enclosing jungle indicative of the inaction (and potential action?) of the villagers. The director is brave in the way he leaves the murder itself pretty much alone and sets about outlining the events that led up to it in a manner of laid-back storytelling that is rare considering the pull a murder usually has on any intervening plotting (some directors can shoehorn in an entire back story so that a murder fits nicely). There is no whodunit, there is no mystery. This takes the element of second-guessing out of the viewing experience and leaves brain-space for all those thoughts on love, death, marriage and paddle steamers.

But is this what we want? For all the directorial bravery, and despite the accuracy with which he recreates Marquez's novel, there is more than a sense of whodunit trepidation absent. In resigning ourselves to this amble through events, we have to accept that there are no revelations and that nothing particularly exciting is going to happen, which is fine in a novel format, when you can pad out the journey with introspection, but in a film, where sight and sound are all, it's asking a lot of an audience.


Verdict
An ambitious and uncompromising project but essentially too far up its own creak and without a paddle.


Reviewed by Gavin Bainbridge

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Jessica Chastain Takes The IMDbunker
The Most Violent Year star takes our most random quiz

Five Impressive Oscar Isaac Roles You Didn't Realise Were Oscar Isaac
Welcome to Oscar season...

Johnny Depp And Paul Bettany Talk Mortdecai
How good is your 'Mortdecai face'?

Fables: A Primer
An introduction to Bill Willingham’s wonderfully dark fairy-tale world

12 Hitchcock Remakes Ranked From Best To Worst
Lifeboat in space, anyone?

From Mission: Impossible To Mortdecai: Writer/Director David Koepp Talks Screenwriting
What would you do if you were in charge of the Spider-Man franchise?

Ghost In The Shell: A Crash Course
Everything you need to know about Scarlett Johansson’s anime remake

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)