Sunday, November 14, 2010


By D.E.Levine

Director: Roman Polanski
Writer: Robert Harris and Roman Polanski (screenplay); Robert Harris (novel)
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Jon Bernthal, Eli Wallach, Tim Preece, James Belushi, Timothy Hutton, Anna Botting, Kim Cattrall, Tim Faraday, Olivia Williams, Pierce Brosnan, Tom Wilkinson, Desiree Erasmus, David Rintoul et al.
Producers: Robert Benmussa, Roman Polanski and Alain Sarde
Executive Producer: Henning Molfenter
Co-producers: Tim Burrill, Christoph Fisser and Charlie Woebcken
Line Producer: Oliver Luer and Christian von Tippelskirch
Original Music: Alexandre Desplat
Running Time: 128 Minutes
Country of Origin:
Language: English
Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Despite all the adverse publicity centering around his personal life, at 76 Roman Polanski has turned out one of his best films.

Commenting on contemporary politics and the helplessness of individuals against the powerful already entrenched, The Ghost Writer reminds one of a Hitchcock film, especially when paired with the original score of Alexandre Desplat.

Once again Polanski has provided the adult viewing audience with a film that alternates spellbinding suspense episodes with those of comic relief.

This technique too is that of pure Hitchcock, but Polanski has used it successfully in the past with films like Rosemary's Baby.

Because it's based on a contemporary novel, the audience can recognize and relate to a former prime minister (strangely like Tony Blair) who is a central character, and the ghost writer hired to enhance his memoirs (label that rewrite professionally).

Throughout the film there are some unexpected twists and turns that add to the suspense and let the viewer know that cleverly both the writers have made sure things are never as they seem.

Every carefully chosen member of the cast performs well, including an unglamorous Kim Cattrall in a departure from her Sex in the City role, and 94 year old Eli Wallach, who can still steal any scene where he appears.

It's obvious that despite the notoriety in his personal life, it hasn't hampered the creative genius and meticulous consideration of detail that distinguishes one of Polanski's films from that of his contemporaries.