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Friday, February 18, 2011

Sleuth (2007)

With only two actors in the entire movie, Sleuth is a 2007 film directed by Kenneth Branagh and is based on Harold Pinter's screenplay adaptation of the Tony award-winning play SLEUTH by Anthony Shaffer. The movie stars Jude Law and Michael Cainee, who had also starred in the previous movie adaptation of Sleuth way back in the year 1972.

Cast: Michael Caine as Andrew Wyke
Jude Law as Milo Tindle
Director - Kenneth Branagh
Music - Patrick Doyle

Running Time: 86 minutes

Plot: Two extremely witty and scheming men will fight it out through the movie, matching their wits with the other, fighting for a woman they both claim to love, a woman, who, interestingly, the audience will never finally meet. She will always be a voice on the phone maybe, an entity who is out there in the world somewhere, but never shown. The men fight out each other in a dangerous game of wit and words and scheming, a game that will result in some dangerous final moments.
Andrew Wyke is a wealthy old millionaire, an established writer with a highly intellectual mind. Wyke's wife Maggie is living with her young lover. This lover is Milo Tindle. Wyke is alone in a huge house, a house that is old and royal, a house with a lot of character and intensity in it, a house that will haunt the viewer for days after they have watched the movie. To this house comes Milo Tindle, to visit the old man (either on the invitation of Wyke himself or on the insistence of Maggie). What follows is a series of intellectual and twisted games and role-playing..with dangerous consequences.

The movie is amazing in the way it has been handled. A movie with only two people in it requires extreme merit from the actors and characters to not let the audience drift even for a moment, and that is exactly what this movie manages. Not for a second do you get the chance to look away from the screen. Each word, each sentence is full of meaning, each scene has a purpose, and every angle on the set and in the frame is essential.
The house where the entire movie is based is in itself a work of art. With the theme of the house as much modern and at the same time having that old-world charm, even while everything about the house is so modern, it looms large in the background and serves well to the plot.
Caine is brilliant in his character. He is distinguished, intellectual, full of that old charm that was once so popular among 'real' men of the years gone by.
Jude Law is of course too good to look at to begin with. For those who did not watch the older version, Michael Caine had portrayed the character of Milo Tindle in 1972 that Jude Law now does in 2007. Jude Law is exceptionally wonderful in his display of emotions. Charming, sexy, rugged and full of attitude on the one hand, vulnerable, scared, innocent the next moment, he portrays each emotion with elan and the utmost sincerity through the portrayal of Tindle.
The movie is a cat-and-mouse chase throughout, with both the characters keeping scores of who won which round. They use wit and words to hurt and humiliate the other, using double-crossing, planning, scheming and deception to the hilt. The movie is dark and claustrophobic, extremely smart and filled with that you-know-something-is-about-to-happen feeling.
The music by Patrick Doyle is haunting and perfect. It matches the mood and theme of the movie, providing character to the background and a feel to each frame.

Many people were of the view that the movie would be a remake of the 1972 hit. But it has come as a surprise to all that not only is this movie not a remake, it is in fact a brilliant new take on the original play. In Jude Law's own words - "A completely reinvented Sleuth. It didn't feel like a remake. I always loved the idea at its heart of two men battling it out for a woman you never meet."
Harold Pinter, the screenwriter of the 2007 version, had never seen the 1972 movie, nor had he read the original play or seen a theater adaptation of it, and none of the lines in the movie matched the ones in the previous version.

Sleuth (2007) is a Must-Watch...

And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta