A satisfying crime-drama, The Girl by the Lake is a must-see for fans of murder-mysteries. Beautifully shot, skillfully acted, and well-written, the film delivers plenty of thought-provoking moments that will have you trying your best to solve the crime before the lead investigator makes his final accusation.
Tony Servillo plays Inspector Giovanni Sanzio who is called in to investigate the mysterious murder of a young girl whose body is found by a secluded lake (hence the title). As Sanzio digs into the girl’s past he discovers a list of people who could be connected to her death. Will he find the killer and bring them to justice?
This is a fantastic film that not only effectively constructs are clever mystery but gives Sanzio an emotional backstory that helps us to empathize with him on a human level and not just as a cop. This is a well-rounded film with great characters and a solid narrative.
While American audiences may not recognize any of the actors (it is an Italian film), there is one familiar face present in the movie: Valeria Golina. Who, you may ask? If you’ve seen Hot Shots!, Hot Shots! Part Deux, or Clean Slate you’ve seen her face before. While she’s not Charlie Sheen’s love interest or trying to save Dana Carvey’s movie career in this movie, her skills as an actress are spotlighted in a much more intriguing and genuine fashion.
The only issue I had – and this may just be my Americanized movie sensibility talking – is the lack of a stronger climax at the end as Sanzio moves in and solves the case. The moments it happens comes across as a bit weak and uneventful, almost as if he’s talking about the weather with the accused. While it’s still a satisfying “ah-ha!” moment, there seems to be a feeling that there could have been a bit more drama involved.
The Girl by the Lake is fantastic. I highly recommend this engaging film to murfer-mystery fans and to folks who enjoy shows like Law & Order. It’s a definitely worth watching!
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The Girl by the Lake is available NOW on DVD.