After their enormous comedic success with NEVER ON SUNDAY, the husband-wife team of Mercouri and expatriate-American Dassin decided to look at the dark side of life with this drama. Mercouri is a well-known actress about to do a production of "Medea" under the directorship of Voutsinas,
with whom she once had an affair. The two discover that Burstyn, an American woman who killed her children, just as Medea did, is now living nearby. Voutsinas insists that Mercouri meet Burstyn in order to learn what might motivate such a woman--the better to portray Medea, my dear. The play and
the Mercouri-Burstyn interviews are intercut to the conclusion, which has Burstyn breaking down while Mercouri, as Medea, kills the children on stage. A curious film that suffers from a lack of directorial focus, A DREAM OF PASSION is still worth a look because of the talents of the actresses.
Dassin can always be counted on to make a left turn where a right one might be indicated. Lots of yelling and screaming as Voutsinas encourages Mercouri to pull out all the stops in her stage performance, going against her intuition to play it restrained. Some goriness but not nearly so much as a
director like Brian De Palma, say, might have dictated. To his credit, Dassin does leave something to the imagination and, in doing so, creates even more horror than might have been photographed. (In English and Greek.)
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