Recently added to Netflix UK is the Italian comedy whodunnit, 7 Woman and a Murder (aka 7 Donne E Un Mistero). The film – from director Alessandro Genovesi – stars Margherita Bay, Diana Del Bufalo, Sabrina Impacciatore, Benedetta Porcaroli, Micaela Ramazzotti, Luisa Ranieri and Ornella Vanoni, and focuses on a murder mystery in a mansion.
In the movie, it is Christmas Eve, snow is falling outside, and a well-to-do family gather together at home for the forthcoming festivities. But as they all sit down to breakfast, the maid discovers the head of the household, Marcello, lies dead in his bed – the victim of a stabbing.
Shocked at this discovery, everyone in the household comes together to discuss the murder, questioning who could have committed the crime and why? But as they begin to offer up theories about who might have snuck into the house, tensions mount and soon everybody becomes a suspect.
Is it possible that someone close to Marcello was responsible for his death? And if so, was it his wife, his ex-lover, his sister-in-law, his children, his maid, or his no-nonsense elderly mother-in-law?
There are seven women in Marcello’s life, and each appears to have a motive. Over the next couple of hours, the women have to work out if there is a killer in their midst.
If you spent the Christmas season catching up on some new murder-mysteries (including Glass Onion and See How They Run), and you’ve exhausted all of the Poirot and Miss Marple movies you can get your hands on, then you may wish to cast your eyes over 7 Women and a Murder. If you are keen to try out something new, then this light and breezy murder romp could be up your street, so long as you like your sleuthing kept quite simple.
Clocking in at a lean 82-minutes, and working from a fairly straight-forward premise, 7 Women and a Murder is a comical whodunnit which looks at the relationship between a collection of women who share one man in common. There’s not much more to it than that, and the murder-mystery itself is fairly thin on the ground, however, thanks to some humorous lines, as well as good costumes and a familiar setting, this film lands on the right side of being enjoyable.
Taking one or two cues from classic Agatha Christie yarns, the story takes place in one location, and largely focuses on the titular women trying to work out who is capable of murder. With no big set up, the film gets down to business pretty quickly, spending the majority of its runtime working out why each character might be the prime suspect.
As with Christie-inspired stories, each character has their own quirks, making them all likely candidates. The fun then comes from watching them interact, and tear strips off each other, as they show off their less than friendly qualities.
Each actress from the ensemble gets her moment to shine in the film, but it is Ornella Vanoni who gets the best material. Playing the grand matriarch of the family, she spends most of the film attempting to drink anything (and everything) alcoholic, while simultaneously casting some shade at everyone around her.
Chuck in a stylised backdrop, a snowy setting, and a neat little wrap-up, and 7 Women and a Murder is perfectly acceptable viewing for those who are gently easing themselves into the New Year. It isn’t amazing stuff, so don’t expect to be entirely wowed by what’s on offer, but it’s fine for what it is and could provide a few post-Crimbo chuckles for anyone struggling with the gloomy days of early January.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.