Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Ghost Writer

Roman Polanski takes on Robert Harris' novel about an ex-PM guilty of war crimes. Sound familiar?

If not, then it should. Tony Blair was apparently the inspiration behind this and the similarities fade the further the film continues. Mainly because it turns into a by-the-numbers thriller that doesn't have many thrills.

The story is about McGregor being taken on (by a weird looking Belushi) as the ghost writer for ex-PM Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan). The last ghost writer was found floating face down in a nearby beach. Oh dear. McGregor is sent out to their holiday home in the States or wherever it is at the same time that the ex-PM is suddenly accused of war crimes. It all goes a bit mad. But there is a deeper truth here than people are letting on....

Anyway, the pace of this story moves ... so ... slowly ... that you want it to constantly hurry up and get to the point. McGregor does well keeping it all together and trying to figure out what's happening, but it's pretty obvious that nothing is as it seems. Poor old Brosnan, who is around a fair bit during the beginning hardly gets a look-in for the rest of the film and the wife, well ... it's just ridiculous. Polanski comes through on some bits like the 'chase' scene (the slowest chase ever) but his style seems to be lost in trying to tell the story. I'm guessing he probably had other things on his mind anyway.

I can't say much else about this film rather than 'blah'. You could tell it was from a novel as it was so 'talky' but felt so fake, sometimes watching people act out what you read in a book looks forced and unnatural. Like every novel-turned-film, it runs the risk of being lost up it's own arse, and this is almost the case. The politics of it all might ring close to home, but makes a mockery of it by suggesting silly notions for the sake of drama. It was slow, not thrilling, predictable yet well acted. The last scene for instance was sheer stupidity. It's also nice to see Kim Cattrall not acting like an idiot either. If nothing else is on, watch it, but don't expect the action-espionage-thriller the trailer makes it out to be.

Rating: 5/10

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