Sunday, May 16, 2010

Duplicity. B-

I need to watch 'Duplicity' again. Writer-director Tony Gillroy's followup to the brilliant 'Michael Clayton' is a lighter movie, but also a more confusing one. It took two viewings for me to fully get 'Clayton.' I think 'Duplicity' demands the same attention. Yet it's clear that the quality of the movie is much lesser than 'MC,' and if I were to see it again it would merely be for the story's sake, not for viewing enhancement. So with that said, I have to ask: should I really care? I think Gillroy prides himself on his convoluted screenplays. Though the Jason Bourne movies, all three of which he wrote, weren't too hard to follow, they were heavy on detail. 'Michael Clayton' was the same. Here he not only fills the story with countless little details, but also further complicates things by making it unclear where the characters' true loyalties lie. He also messes with linear of the narrative by flashing back then forward constantly. I've never liked that device, though I here he does it smoothly even if it does complicate the story. 'Duplicity' stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, and while I didn't enjoy watching the plot they were involved in, I definitely enjoyed watching their interaction and terrific chemistry. Though neither of them are great by themselves, they shine in the scenes they share together, constantly throwing witty one-liners and sly remarks back and forth. But that was the only real joy I found in the film.

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