A Slow but Stylish Murder
Architect, Walter Stackhouse (Patrick Wilson - Morning Glory) is rich, successful and he both loves and hates his wife, Clara (Jessica Biel - Hitchcock), due to never knowing what sort of mood she will be in from one minute to the next. Whilst striking up a friendship with an attractive younger singer, Walter becomes fascinated with Kimmel (Eddie Marsan - X+Y) whose wife was murdered and the police suspect but can't prove that he did it. With thoughts of murdering Clara so that he can be free, Walter finds himself in deep water when Clara is found dead in suspicious circumstances and his actions and lies make him a suspect. But things get all the more complicated as Walter finds his life become entwined with Kimmel's as the cops believe they have a copycat killer.
The old saying goes "style over substance" and that is pretty spot on when it comes to "A Kind of Murder". Although maybe the truth is that the substance, a story adapted from a Patricia Highsmith novel, ends up getting lost under the style and the director's choices as on paper the synopsis sounds a lot better than the movie ends up. The whole story of two murders and a lot of unanswered questions has the potential to be an intriguing thriller and when you are able to focus on the story rather than the style the smatterings of intrigue are there.
But as I said, "A Kind of Murder" is a movie which gets lost in style, so much style from a slow movement of a camera to the look of a car. It is clear that Andy Goddard, the director, has set out to make a film noir and you could say one that is in a Brian de Palma style. But the movie ends up dominated by that style with the storyline crushed under it. And in order for you to soak in all that style "A Kind of Murder" ends up a painfully slow movie with far too many pauses thrown in which end up more annoying than beneficial.
What this all boils down to is that "A Kind of Murder" ended up too much of a struggle to stay interested in due to there being so much emphasis on style that it distracts from the intrigue of the story.