Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Where the Truth Lies" (2005) - Movie Review

“Where the Truth Lies” has the ingredients for being the film noir, but a film noir sometimes do not get me either. Mainly because there will be characters whom I would not particularly like and expect the desire for them to be on the right side (now this term is questionable which I would leave it up for interpretation). Now that will actually be considered as the success of the genre since it makes me feel that. Yet at the end of it, I would be like, yeah it was good but does not seem to side with me a lot on the opinions. It is unlike me where I tend to me more objective though it is quite impossible. Still some noir get me. “Where the Truth Lies” did a pendulum and finally sufficed to make me like it.

And the character that oscillated in being thought clever, dumb and dubious was Karen played by Alison Lohman as the journalist trying to be involved through a book about narrated by one of the two great hosts and entertainers Vince (Colin Forth) and Lanny (Kevin Bacon). She talks to Vince but researches and may be a little more than that towards Lanny. The burning question is that how the dead girl Maureen (Rachel Blanchard) end up in their hotel suite immersed in the tub filled with water.

Lohman’s Karen grew up being the fans of these two men in fifties. She and her friend whose name she later uses when she is coincidentally has to ride the plane with Lanny even raised money of their own with the names. She actually met them when she was a little girl who came out of polio and has then been obsessed by this mystery of their god feature being questioned after the girl wounded up dead in their suite. And hence when the opportunity to get an inside look on that from Vince arises, she gets right on it through the publisher.

Vince and Lanny are the best buddies on and off the screen. Both led the high life and we get to know them through some of the excerpts Lanny sends to Karen in order to threaten the book she is writing. But the story really takes off once Karen meets Lanny. And the date they go is nothing short of knowing the man behind that mask of glamour, fun and the whole nine yards of showbiz. Karen posed as Bonnie asks questions in a curious manner which does not make Lanny to suspect more than he should. But he does not care about it as he knows his agenda with a sex pot like Karen.

Fame can be as alive as anything. It is a package whose pros and cons are with heavy artillery in cases it submits. The freedom to have whatever and whenever against the nakedness in letting the strangers inside their life are fearsome but the former is an eye candy. The control gets in to the head and to lay low after a point is something one cannot afford to. And when they really get low, they are out of the game. That becomes scary. We feel the insecurity of it in both Vince and Lanny. Lanny calls Karen in the hopes of her seeing the Today show he made an appearance to have a go at her. She forgets and the break in the voice of Lanny and the scare he gets of his disappearing notability are worth to be noted on this way of living many love but not really know the deep end of it.

Karen through which we are supposed to know the truth is a last person we would like more than after hearing sexual debaucheries of Vince and Lanny. Her naive eyes combined with the bomb shell looks deceives not these two men alone but us. She is devious in becoming some one to acquire information. We do not really know what she wants when she lies to Lanny and begins to get close with him. Knowing who he is through his own words in the manuscripts and the player he has been, she is surprised by his behaviour. As though she is there to rescue him from the guilt he has been going through with the dead girl. But later when we come to know that Karen was the little kid in their polio show and her more than admiration towards Lanny, it is understandable but not sympathetic. She does dumb things but when the time comes to safe guard, she turns the table on Vince. That is a surprise characteristic in her. In the end we neither like nor hate her.

When actually the “truth” comes out, it does not come as a cheap shot and the tracing back of the queues the story leaves fits good. The queues were carefully placed and more importantly put forth which gives a meaning of suspicion but something that would wither away and deflect on the character’s behaviour than actual event of truth. Atom Egoyan weaves an interesting noir film which I would accept with some of the reviewers comment of why do we even care for the truth. Yet he makes it a ride as a good short story. We do not empathize with any of them but makes a good show to sit through as a suspense and marginal character study of the glamour world.

No comments: