When Ridley meets an art dealer one thinks that the object of the film only covers the transfer of art into the wring hands but Ridley has a game that goes deeper than that, he wants to control the life of an artisan. This is someone who is too weak to stand up for himself against the corruption of the state around him.
Art dealing might have something to do with the underworld but the movie has a way of drawing in the lives of someone who is indirectly involved with the corruption. Here one of the contacts, living in what looks like Italy is a frame maker and has probably framed some of the prints that his “boss” gets. Let’s face it the way that this person is involved into the sequenced murders in an effort to save his family is realistic enough that viewers want to see where the tension will lead.
One may continue to ask what the point of the game is in the movie by Liliana Cavani but it stands to reason that the reason lies in the need not to get directly control in eliminating your opponent and in finding someone weak enough that he will follow his sadistic mentor’s instructions. One never knows whether the accomplish will ever set himself free and one can compare that bind to that of his terminal illness which is in remission. To Ridley killing his opponents is just another job, he has come into contact with the Russian mafia probably regarding the control of obtaining valuable pieces of artwork.
He is able to change thoughts and forget what he done quite quickly unlike his weaker assistant but the tension between them continues to a violent end for one of them. Then Ridley returns to his everyday appreciation of his girlfriend’s musical practice on an antique piano. This is a nicely contrasted scene with an often-repeated theme that under the veil of well being something far more sinister lurks.