'7 Women and a Murder' movie review: No thrill in this kill
The film is largely reliant on conversations, which are almost consistently about revealing the skeletons in each of their closets
It is always fun to watch an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery unfold. There’s a mansion, there’s a murdered man, and seven women, each of them with a reason to kill. The possibilities are delightful, and in the right hands, with just a 90-minute runtime, the unfolding of the detective thriller can be taut, clever and intriguing. The narrative of Netflix’s 7 Women and a Murder, however, is as plain as its title.
Seven women are brought together under the same roof, and one of them discovers that the family patriarch (Marcello) is murdered. Among them are the patriarch’s wife (Margherita), their two daughters (Susanna and Caterina), his mother-in-law (Rachele), his sister-in-law (Agostina), his paramour (Veronica) and the housekeeper (Maria).
As the plot unravels, one can’t help but notice the tardiness of it all. The quintessential sense of urgency of a mystery is missing, and even the period setting of the film, and the various obstacles that come their way in the form of a raging blizzard, disconnected phone lines, locked gates and missing dogs, don’t really help the pace.
The film is largely reliant on conversations, which are almost consistently about revealing the skeletons in each of their closets. To the whodunit’s disadvantage, none of the reveals are secret or dark enough, and devoid of any emotional depth that otherwise adds to the story in any way whatsoever. The contrived way in which the narrative proceeds is this film’s undoing.
One might argue that the simple title is a clever move of hiding secrets in plain sight, but the writing doesn’t corroborate this line of thought. So, all that the viewers are left with is a rather dull murder mystery, which is made briefly engaging by the actors, who give it their all in underwritten roles.
Although the big reveal is underwhelming, 7 Women and a Murder has a neat little epilogue featuring one more conversation among the women. The final minutes are filled with sardonic wit, acerbic humour, and straight-faced dark humour, making the absence of thrill in the preceding hour and a half all the more palpable.
Director: Alessandro Genovesi
Genre: Murder mystery
Rating: 2/5 stars