Seven women are virtually trapped in a mansion with a dead body and one of them is the murderer… but who?
Directed by Alessandro Genovesi, the 2021 movie ‘7 Women and a Murder’ is a remake of François Ozon’s ‘8 Femmes’ which came out in 2002. It’s a fun dark murder mystery, which never gets too serious and despite death being the primary theme the movie feels festive since the story unfolds on Christmas eve.
Plot overview: Marcello, the owner of a large estate is discovered with a fatal stab wound to his back on Christmas eve by his two daughters and wife. Margherita Buy plays Marcello’s wife, who isn’t exactly grief-stricken by the death, his older daughter Susanna (Diana Del Bufalo) who arrived the same morning is shocked, so is the younger bored Caterina (Benedetta Porcaroli), the only one who immediately suggests they call the police, but the only phone in the house is disconnected. Their car is broken, a snowstorm is afoot, and the women can’t do much except suspect each other, especially Marcello’s mistress Veronica (Micaela Ramazzotti) who suspiciously arrives knocking at the door moments after his death is discovered.
The remaining three women are Marghertia’s sister Agostina (Sabrina Impacciatore) who was hopelessly in love with Marcello, their wheelchair bound mother Rachele (Ornella Vanoni) and their rather beautiful housekeeper/cook Maria (Luisa Ranieri). All the actors were entertaining; Ornella Vanoni was a riot as an old lady with a drinking problem who instantly celebrates her son-in-law’s demise with some alcohol. Sabrina Impacciatore adds a lot of comic relief as the middle-aged spinster who suffers the indignity of having to live in the house of a woman who is/was married to her beloved.
‘7 Women and a Murder’ had a tragi-comedy air to it and was like a stage-play and interestingly does follow the classical three unities of drama – of action, place, and time. The movie’s action is focused on Marcello’s death and the women in his life, and everything takes place within the mansion and the story is over within 24 hours. While I really enjoyed watching a film with an all women cast, the pace slackens in the second half. While I wasn’t aware of who the director was while streaming the title, but due to a specific scene one would think it’s probably a man, because it just seemed like it was from a ‘male gaze’. In-fact even the original story is based on a play by Robert Thomas. Aha!
Anyway, overall, it’s a fun dark comedy, with a rather happy ending for a murder mystery, even though a funeral is around the corner.
It’s a 7/10 from me. Stream it on Netflix.
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