Sunday, March 14, 2004

Secret Window (IMDB) (Netflix)
I went for Johnny Depp, who is always fun to watch, and apparently so did the couple dozen young women that made up most of the audience. Hmmm, must reflect on that. A psychological thriller from Stephen King, with Depp as a writer licking his marital wounds after a painful breakup. A looney John Turturro shows up claiming that Depp has plagiarized one of his stories, and the confrontation gets increasingly out of control. With Maria Bello (The Cooler) as the estranged wife and Timothy Hutton as the guy she took up with.

This is one of those films that starts out promising; Depp talking to himself is more interesting than dialog between just about any two other actors, the camera angles are fresh without being showy, and even Turturro in a Southern accent isn't too jarring. Things get tedious, though, as Depp tries unsuccessfully to calm an ever-angrier and more brazen Turturro, then toward the end, as the big twist is revealed and the climactic scene unfolds, there's a sense of being cheated, or at least let down.

Depp took a big risk with the hugely successful Pirates of the Carribean ("we're going to make a movie based on a theme park ride, whaddya say?"), and might have placed too much faith in his ability to sell this one to the audience.