A girl has disappeared in a small mountain town in Italy and inspector Vogel (Tony Servillo) comes to investigate. Vogel has gained a certain reputation by involving the media in his investigation. An angry crowd lynches the suspect before the clues are collected and the criminal confesses… this time around Vogel’s eyes are set on the college professor from the victim’s school. While our detective has little doubt as to the guilt of the man, things just don’t stack up. How far will our detective go to prove he is right… And in the cat and mouse game with his invisible opponent, who is really being played?
The directorial debut of the author of the original novel Donato Carrisi is one of the most impressive original mysteries that had come from Italy in recent years. It is not hard to guess the twist, but it definitely is elegant. The movie borrows heavily from many famous ones that have come before (including TWIN PEAKS of course), but the film has an interesting focus on the wrongly accused man. Trialled by the media without a shred of proof, he is sinking, his life spiralling out of control. THE GIRL IN THE MIST demonstrates how easy it is to lose everything over nothing. But also shows the other side of the coin. How easily the media can be played by both, good and evil?
Toni Servillo, who received world acclaim for his leading role in THE GREAT BEAUTY, plays a rather two-dimensional character, but he has a fantastic presence and this is all this thriller is asking of him. Jean Reno as Vogel’s psychiatrist goes under the radar in this small but significant role. The movie unfolds through the dialogue between the two men and it gives a certain structure to a film populated by many characters.
The movie has an atmosphere of sticky menace and does not always lead you to where you expect to be. If you catch it in the movies, do yourself a favour and make sure you watch the ending carefully. Make sure you count the objects in the box shown before the end titles, or you will be left wondering, or have to watch this scene again just like I did!