This is a psychological thriller with pretty good reviews everywhere. The director is Australian, Joel Edgerton and he does an excellent job with thin material; it is very well put together and beautifully edited. Briefly, it’s about an upwardly-mobile young couple recently moved to Chicago for a new job/fresh start and the husband runs in to an old school friend from twenty or so years ago who then follows him home, takes an unhealthy interest in his wife, keeps leaving them gifts, keeps turning up outside at unexpected moments and generally won’t leave them alone. It turns out that the husband bullied this guy mercilessly at school; so, what does he want now?
Quite a nice premise. Keeps you gripped more or less to the end and there are some subtleties in the screenplay, like the wife wondering what kind of monster she has married and the husband realising that he has a job that he isn’t really qualified for and has a classy wife that is too good for him. It isn’t a simple stalking film.
Best of all Rebecca Hall is in it: she transforms everything she appears in.
We missed this first time around at the beginning of the year. Wasn’t that bothered if truth be told; I read the book ages ago and couldn’t really see how a film might improve on the reading/imagination experience. And it doesn’t.
Matt Damon is in it and I don’t know how much he was paid but money can’t buy what he brings to something like this. It isn’t just great acting: it’s an everyman character that never overwhelms the telling of the tale. Tremendous, I think.
I am not going to slag it off. How can you slag off something that made $650m at the box but only cost $110m to make. But I much preferred the book.
We watched this on TV.
Mathew McConaughey is in it, as is Reece Witherspoon in a minor role [is her career over now?]. I wasn’t fussed with it: another American film in which all is resolved with guns.
It is a kind of modern take on Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations with Pip and his secret liaisons with Magwich. Here Magwich is played by McConaughey, hiding on a river island after having been chased by the law for the murder of a man down in Texas. The Pip person is a young boy, Ellis who brings him food and fuel for his boat and tries to reconcile him with his long-time girlfriend, Witherspoon. That’s it really; that’s the story. Reviewers draw comparisons with the greats of American literature: Hemingway; Huck Finn; Peckinpah; the river and the island as a boys-own adventure ground. Peckinpah I suppose because of the violent shoot-out at the end. All very American; all very male.
It’s got good reviews though. Maybe I just don’t know my American literary references well enough to make the necessary connections. And the guns; again.