Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Ghost Writer

Director Roman Polanski does Brian DePalma. Based on the novel By Robert Harris, this new "suspense" drama plays like one of Mr. DePalma's thrillers, minus the sleaze factor and the thrill. The camera work, and in particular, the score reminded me of films like "Body Double" "Dressed To Kill" and "Raising Cain".

Ewan McGregor plays the title character, hired to "ghost" the autobiography of Andrew Lang, the former Prime Minister of England, played by Pierce Brosnan. Mr. McGregor is a very engaging actor and works hard to keep the audience's attention. His simple task of writing a book of memoirs takes on ominous tones after a dead body is discovered and shadowy figures begin to appear. He suspects there is more to the story than what he's been told and the plot slowly begins to reveals itself and I do mean slowly.

The movie holds your attention and builds towards what you would expect to be a big revelation at the end. Granted the final moments of the film come as a surprise but after such a long slow build, it all becomes clear too neat and quick and then one final twist in the last shot.

Mr. Polanski substitutes an island off the North Sea for Cape Cod and Mr. Bronson's exile for his own. The story of a American puppet Prime Minister is thinly veiled and the film contains a pretty obvious anti-American slant. There is very little action and the drama just drags on and on.

Mr. Brosnan is well cast in the Tony Blair...oops I mean Andrew Lang role and it's nice to see Kim Cattrall doing something else beside "Samantha Jones". The fine actor Tom Wilkinson also turns up as an important piece to the mystery.

There seems to be a big buzz around this film but to this critic, it's much ado about nothing.

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