QCFF Review: 'The Girl in the Fog' Is a Brainless Whodunnit Directed by Donato Carrisi
Starring Toni Servillo, Alessio Boni, Jean Reno, Michela Cescon
Published Sep 20, 2018Let's give La ragazza nella nebbia (The Girl in the Fog) points for truth in advertising. Writer-director Donato Carrisi brings a whole lot of rain, fog and spooky noir atmosphere to this cat-and-mouse murder mystery set in an Italian mountain town. What there's not, however, is much in the way of basic logic.
Twists and turns abound when Detective Vogel comes to town to investigate the recent disappearance of teenage girl Anna Lou Kastne. Vogel's wildly ineffective investigative tactic is to feed information to the media in order to put pressure on suspects. Consequently, he tampers with evidence and leaks case details surrounding the lead suspect, school teacher Loris Martini (Alessio Boni).
For some reason, Vogel also meets up with Martini off the record and gives him a full rundown of the case against him. There's corrupt police work and then there's plain idiocy; this is definitely the latter.
The whole investigation is an implausible mess. The victim's stalker is referred to as a "guardian angel" rather than considered as a suspect, the police relentlessly persecute Loris with only the barest scraps of evidence, and there's a whole business about a "fake diary" that's a half-assed attempt to turn Anna Lou into a Laura Palmer-style badgirl. Each plot turn is totally contrived, and it's probably better to try to shut your brain off and try to soak in the gothic atmosphere.
The bizarre investigation might be almost salvageable with a brainy ending, but then there's a final twist that's downright laughable. The best whodunnits tie everything up with a nice bow, but The Girl in the Fog leaves more baffling questions than answers. (Colorado Film Production, Medusa Film)