3 March 2005 | jpschapira
I really like to watch thrillers, if that's a name you can put to the films which contain action, suspense, mystery, drama; everything in one package. Sometimes we just call them suspense films. I like the "thriller" designation, especially because of the arguments I'm about to deal with here.
I should say I like to watch thrillers because I'm expecting some adrenaline. I'm expecting to connect with a story, with the characters. "Seven" reached that goal in my expectations. It's an exceptional thriller. There are not much more thrillers that have captivated me. "Heat" is another one, maybe, if you can call it a thriller. So every time I sit to watch this type of film, I'm prepared. In cases of movies like "I Witness", things don't go very, or that well (referring to the other ones).
"I witness" is not a good thriller. Not because it lacks the elements, no. It has them all; but they are not managed correctly. The action scenes are constantly repeated, the suspense is not felt (and this eliminates mystery), it's hard to believe the drama. Casting has united a strong ensemble here. Maybe the ones that made a mistake were the persons in the ensemble, at the time they chose to be in it.
Some days ago I was talking about Jeff Daniels. We were discussing and I heard someone saying that he is always playing the same role. Probably. I like him as an actor, but I have got to think if he is really "choosing" his roles. He could be playing with them. He'll give you a good performance, but he is not really wanting to. He is so relaxed and disinterested; he doesn't seem to care.
Some characters have big names but little participation. Portia de Rossi; I'm talking about her. I don't like her very much. She has that cute face but never seems to be comfortable in her roles or show any talent when playing them. Then there is James Spader; he seems to be drawn. He doesn't show any emotion, not even when he's having sex with a woman. Jordi Caballero, a sort of newcomer, finds the note for the role, although he overacts it most of the time.
Then I should finish talking about the only impression the movie left on me, believe it or not. You could think I'm joking, but I was "thrilled" (not bad if a thriller causes that impression) with Clifton Collin Jr's performance. What an ability he has to create emotions at the time he has a serious look. He can be so sad and not fake it, yet make it real. I haven't seen him much, but I remember him in the little roles he played in "Tigerland" (very good movie, and one of Colin Farrell's best performances) and "The Last Castle". He was superb here.
The movie was predictable and you could sense the ending. The most disappointing thing will be; that if you don't guess the ending, you won't be surprised by the resolution the movie shows to you. It will be just another possibility, like everything. Now that's not a good sign about a thriller, is it?