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Afrojacks Movie Review: The Ghost Writer

3 Mar, 2010 Movie Reviews

With everyone debating on whether or not Scorsese’s Shutter Island is worth seeing and the twist/non-twist at the end, another quality film from a big time director has gone somewhat under the radar. The marketing for Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer hasn’t been nearly as close as the huge spend on Shutter Island even though the release is close to if not just as large. I would guess this would have to do with a certain drugging and molesting of a minor case that seems to loom over the director’s career. Regardless of where you stand on his personal life though, you have to admit the guy has chops and his latest effort is further evidence of that.
Ewen McGregor stars as The Ghost, a successful British ghost writer who is brought in to finish the memoirs for a major British politician (Pierce Brosnan as Adam Lang, the Tony Blair-type) in the midst of persecution for war crimes after the original author winds up dead on the Martha’s Vineyard shore close to their full time/summer home. As The Ghost works, he begins to uncover clues suggesting his predecessor may have stumbled on a dark secret linking Lang to the CIA-and that somehow this information is hidden in the manuscript he left behind. He starts to spend his time unraveling the mystery of who killed his predecessor and why, which gets him closer and closer to getting himself killed as well.
The Ghost Writer is a political murder mystery that is heavy on dialogue and low on action and therefore not really a “thriller” in my opinion. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more witty and intelligent political mystery film without being overly snotty and over the audience’s head. This film hits on all cylinders in terms of acting (with the exception of Kim Catrall who is laughably bad as the politicians assistant) and Polanski’s use of humor has the audience laughing at all the right places to defuse the many tense scenes, giving the plot a fantastic ebb and flow. Polanski may like ‘em a bit young but you have to give it to the guy for crafting a not only smart but highly entertaining political mystery film and its a shame the general movie going audience will choose not to enjoy because of it because of the bad name hes given himself.
If you’re going to choose between two of the biggest director’s films out right now, I recommend you put your thoughts on Polanski aside and see something that will not only make you think, but make you laugh as well.


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