Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Tourist

Movie name: The Tourist
Year of release: 2010
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Stars:Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Rufus Sewel, Steven Berkoff, Christian De Sica, Alessio Boni, Daniele Pecci, Giovanni Guidelli, Raoul Bova
Genre: Action, Romance
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5

Following his fantastic debut with "The Lives of Others" (winner of the foreign Oscar film in 2006), Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck decided to tackle "The Tourist", a project that went through quite a few number of directors. The film is a remake of the french counterpart, "Anthony Zimmer" that starred Sophie Marceau and Yvan Attal, in the parts now taken by Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp respectively. The film follows Elise Ward, a beautiful English woman who is being surveyed by the police, since she has a connection to a man who stole a huge sum of money from a gangster. Trying to elude them, she strikes a conversation with a man she meets in the train, an American tourist, Frank Tupelo, a math teacher who is trying to overcome the grief of losing a woman. Elise is also following the indications of her former lover, trying to discover where he is and uses Frank to distract her followers. The relationship between Elise and Frank however leads them in a different direction and forces Elise to make some choices.
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is clearly trying to capture the glamour and sophistication that Alfred Hitchcock captured to perfection in "To Catch a Thief" (with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly), however, the film falters in the screenplay. The story is clearly overly simplistic and though the actors are stupendous, there's nothing much they can do when the screenplay is very limited to usual cliches. Johnny Depp gets to be a subdued character with none of his usually eccentric elements, whereas Angelina Jolie is simply stunning as a woman in love, quite different from the characters she usually portrays (either strong or emotionally damaged women). The film also boasts a stunning cinematography from John Seale, but no matter how much everyone tries, the film simply feels like something that has been done before, with more ambition and dazzling results. As is, the film is simply watchable but quickly forgettable.