Somersault

Starring Hale Berry, Sharon Stone, Benjamin Batt. Directed by Pitoff.
Running Time: 97 mins
Rated: Rated M
After her appearance in Die Another Day, her Oscar for Monster's Ball and her being one of the stars of the two X Men movies, everything was possible for Halle Berry. She appeared in the psychological horror film, Gothika, which received a mixed response, and then went on to Catwoman, which did not get a mixed response. The response was generally negative.

Catwoman is a rather flashy show, directed by Pitoff, a Frenchman who was a set designer on the films of Jeunet and Caro, like City of Lost Children. He has a taste for the exotic. However, the screenplay is not really exotic. The credits remind us of the sacred images of cats, especially in ancient Egypt and we remember that this has been popular at least since Cat People, with many variations. However, the mythology is only alluded to and the real role of Catwoman is to right some wrongs, especially in the cosmetics company where she has worked as an artist. Her target is the owner, the arrogant and womanising boss (Lambert Wilson). We know, however, that she should beware of his wife (Sharon Stone), the past face of the company but whose face and character have literally hardened like marble because of the destructive chemicals in the product that is being heavily promoted.

When the cat takes over Halle, she can become just like Spiderman, confident, agile, saviour of the city. When she comes to, she is more like a glamorously diffident Peter Parker. She needs her friends (rather camp) for support as well as the detective who stumbles into her life (Benjamin Bratt). Since Spiderman is successful in portraying the psychological struggles of Peter Parker, there was no reason why Catwoman could not. But it doesn't, leaving a good-looking but rather flat story until the inevitable showdown between Sharon and Halle.


Fr Peter Malone MSC is the International President of SIGNIS: the World Association for Catholic Communications and an Associate of the Australian Catholic Film Office.


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