This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
ViniciusBrito’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Based in the book Psycho, from Robert Bloch. A woman, Marion Crane, that have a regular life with a hidden boyfriend. In one day, at her job, she steals a large amount of money and decides to run away into a new life. So she got out of the city and during her travel, ended up at the Bates Motel in a rainy night, when she got attended by Norman Bates, a young boy that apparentely lives with his mother and is very sympathethic. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by Joseph Stefano.
The storytelling and the atmosphere in here are everything. The whole set up of this film is really great, since the very begining you just got that some characters really like eachother justifying some actions that are way more ahead in the film, and that works, the dialogues works and the chemistry works for you to believe that Sam would go after Marion in that Motel. The whole sequence from Marion Stealing that money and reaching to the Motel is amazing, it is tense, you can feel the burden with her, she not knowing exactly what to do and being tense of each little thing that can happen. That creepy cop that shows up while she is sleeping is another very tense aspect, he keeps staring to her and making questions and neither you or her know if he knows that she have stolen the money or if he is trying to help or do something bad, after he starts to stalk her and watch her from far away things got even more creepy. The fact that when she arrives at the Bates Motel she is still worried about the money, trying to solve her problems and to accept somethings while we all know that there is something bigger wrong, is really well done. That whole sequence since when she arrives there we can see the atmosphere, the place, how detailed the dialogues are to make we understand the characters and to get into the situation. The giant plot twist, for nowdays i found it very predictable, like, we never get a clear shot of his mother's face, never seeing them moving together, but the fact is that for 1960, it was probably a big hit, at that time people probably got really surprised, so as they killing the apparent protagonist in the middle of the film, so there is some really different things for that time that are great. The turning point of the story from the Marion character, after her death, to focus more in Norman, the turning feels really nice and not forced.
The acting is one giant good point for this film. Anthony Perkins is crazy in here, he does have so many layers that consists in his character that it is really great, he is first very cozy and welcoming, you not sure if he is just trying to be ok with the guests or if he wants some company because he is lonely. During on his conversations we can notice that somethings get him pumped, some principle of rage and insecurity, but small and going each by each you can totally tell that the guy is mad. During the very end with that monologue, the way that he reacts to what is being said and the way that he looks to the camera at the end is for sure one of the creepiest scenes in cinema history, that look and that smile starring right at you, that is really remarkable. Janet Leigh also did a really nice job, before the motel parts, you can totally see that she is distressed and not sure on what to do, her minimal details during dialogues with Norman really did evolve some moments. Vera Miles and John Gavin did a very nice duo, i bought that they really cared about Marion enough to do what they did. Martin Balsam is also really nice, he works like a fine noir detective with intriguing dialogues, going for the details in what people say.
The cinematography in this movie is great. First the great decision to put this film in black and white, it totally makes sense on creating the atmosphere for this film, investigation and thriller moments work perfectly with this, the way you see the castle from down seeing it with the rain and lights on with shadows, that all was so well done. There camera positions and moviments that are realy very nice and it all helps to make the film more immersive.
The soundtrack is amazing, the composition by Bernard Herrmann is really intriguin and scary as hell, it is the perfect kind of slasher music, wich, i'm sure, inspired some other great tracks in future.
The film does have a nice dialogue from a psychiatrist about double personalities, how that work and what is happening in the mind of the person, that whole monologue was really intriguing and some good learns came from there.
This is a very paranoic film, with a very nice narrative that will really out you in some thriller moments, very nice noir investigative and atmosphere situations, and a very memorable character.