28 November 2010 | mjneu59
keeping the world at arm's length
How many people, given the opportunity, might be tempted to bolt their doors and draw the blinds and never again emerge from the comfort and complacency of their own homes? That's the basic idea behind this intriguing urban fantasy about the fragile luxury of alienation, starring Elliott Gould as a wealthy, self-sufficient bachelor living a remote controlled life in his Manhattan apartment. He never once ventures outside, at first apparently because he doesn't need to but eventually because he isn't able to, and the character changes with chilling predictability from eccentric to disturbed to disabled as the carpet of his financial security is slowly pulled out from under him. The mood is one of controlled desperation and mounting claustrophobia, all maintained in an economic, undemonstrative screenplay, which more or less keeps silent about its intentions. The viewer is left to fill in the appropriate blanks, something moviegoers aren't challenged to do very often.