Double Indemnity – Femme Fatale

In the Noir film Double Indemnity we are presented with the themes of greed and lust which later leads to adultery and murder. The film begins with Walter Neff who is a door-to-door sales man. Upon visiting one of his former clients, he ends up meeting his wife Phyllis Dietrichson instead.
Upon their first meeting we get the feeling that Phyllis is a mysterious and seductive woman whose charms instantly captivate Walter Neff. This makes her a femme fatale; as we know a femme fatale often leads a male character into compromising dangerous situations by using their seductive charm against them, which is exactly what Phyllis does with Walter.
Often in movies even today powerful characters are shown by showing a camera angle, which goes from the bottom up, which is exactly how we meet Phyllis (up the stairs) signifying that she’s the one in power. Later in the movie we can clearly see that Walter is aware of Phyllis intentions, and his lust for her is so powerful that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to be with her. Even if that whatever means murdering her husband. Walter leaves his hat behind after meeting Phyllis for the second time, giving a reason for her to go visit him.
This film presents us with many hits that lead us to know what’s going on and what is to be expected. I believe the main theme of this movie is that of the femme fatale; Phyllis leads Walter who was a honest man earning a living as a sales man to turn his life around for the worst and become a murderer just like her.

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