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April 26, 2004 | by  | in Film |
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Secret Window

Don’t read this review if you are planning to see this movie or planning to enjoy it. I reveal a bit too much. But I will start by saying I was quite disappointed with this film – it promised a fair lot – Johnny Depp, one of the coolest actors around, sourcing from a Stephen King short story (like enjoyable movies The Shining, Carrie, Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption) and a renaissance of excellent subtle Hollywood horror films started by The Sixth Sense and continued by the likes of The Blair Witch Project and the underrated The Others.

If you’ve seen The Shining, there’s not much to this film, especially since they were both based on Stephen King stories. The plot seems to be pretty similar, a writer on the edge, isolated and experiencing relationship problems. However the film starts off reasonably well – I like films where the protagonists are tortured (unless of course they are directed by people like Mel Gibson) especially if they are of the anti-hero type. A spooky enough John Turturro arrives claiming that Mort (obviously the French translation of the protagonist’s name has some relevance) stole his book. He wants Mort to change his ending or he’ll continue doing nasty stuff to him like killing his dog or burning down his old house.

I found the film fell apart with the twist. I hate saying or knowing that there is a twist in the film, because then you spend the movie trying to figure it out before it happens, compromising enjoyment of the film. However, this film contains a really clumsy one. Twists work if you have been sufficiently sucked in, and it seems like everything has been revealed, such as in Chuck Palahniuk’s novels, The Usual Suspects or the The Sixth Sense. There is too much unresolved in the film before the twist happens, and the revelation is nothing shocking having seen Fight Club and A Beautiful Mind (I told you I’d spoil the movie).

The ending is nice, nasty and unresolved (since when does life ever have a resolution? Not even death grants that), which helps give the film some sort of credibility. It was funny that right at the film’s climax, my neighbour’s cellphone went off. Her having the conversation was not so funny. The film is pretty lacklustre, and was disappointing given that it could have so much better.

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About the Author ()

Brannavan Gnanalingam has come a long way from being born in the teeming metropolis of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He may be known as feature writer for Salient, but is also the only man in history to have simultaneously donated both his kidneys. He is also an amateur rapper going under the moniker Brantank and hopes to win a Grammy.

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