A seedy writer of sleazy pulp novels is recruited by a quirky, reclusive ex-actor to help him write his biography at his house in Malta.A seedy writer of sleazy pulp novels is recruited by a quirky, reclusive ex-actor to help him write his biography at his house in Malta.A seedy writer of sleazy pulp novels is recruited by a quirky, reclusive ex-actor to help him write his biography at his house in Malta.
A misfire this one but one that does have some reasonable ideas within it. The gimmick of king's narration versus what is happening and the simple view of his books versus the complex unfairness of reality is a nice idea but it does not translate into a good film. Those that really like the film (both of them) claim that this is not given enough credit because the majority of viewers don't "get" it but I beg to differ I think it is rating "average" and remembered as such because of the film itself being just that average. The gimmick wears thin when you realise that there is nothing else than a poorly delivered mystery. Towards the end there are themes and things of interest that vaguely start to drift out but by then it is too little too late. Comparing it to things like Chinatown is a joke and those that have suggested this have offered nothing by way of justification.
The cast are mixed. Caine plays to play into his character and indeed he does get some moments of interest with his essentially harmless character, but as the material thins so does his performance. Rooney is interesting for playing an unusual character but offers little more than novelty value. The rest of the cast fill in around the edges in strange turns here and there. Malta as a setting is filmed with a real lack of interest and comes over as dry and colourless a visual impression that does not help the material one little bit.
Overall then an OK idea falls flat as it brings nothing else of interest to the room. Caine tires of it long before the end so it should be of no surprise if you the viewer do as well.
- bob the moo
- Oct 14, 2007