Sunday, March 22, 2009


Movie name: Duplicity
Year of release: 2009
Director: Tony Gilroy
Stars: Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Tom Wilkinson, Denis O'Hare, Kathleen Schalfant, Thomas McCarthy, Wayne Duvall
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Romance
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

After the success that was his first film "Michael Clayton", acclaimed screenwriter Tony Gilroy is back, on a lighter tone, with this story of industrial espionage/romantic comedy, that uses the palpable chemistry between it's two main leads. The film introduces us to a couple, Claire Stenwick and Ray Koval, both former secret agents, who decide to go to the private sector and get some quick money that will allow them both to retire and lead comfortable lives. They focus on two great corporate rivals, and try to find a way to make a profit out of a fantastic discovery that one of them has had. However between backstabbers and surprise twists, who is deceiving whom? The film is in many ways an ode to the classic hollywood style, much like Stanley Donen's "Charade" or even Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest", with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen filling in for Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. The story itself moves us back and forth, explaining how Claire and Ray came up with the plan and how everything comes to fruition. However one of the films main issues is it's rythm - the film feels stalled at certain sections. Some characters are very underdeveloped, particularly the severely underused Tom Wilkinson. The film belongs through and through to Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, who had played a couple in Mike Nichols' "Closer", but who are in much lighter mood here. They have such an easiness and cool rapport that they make this film worth watching.