There is just something about the current releases on mainstream movies these days that fills me with a certain amount of hope for the future. Now I know that people are generally going to be quite the cynics when it comes to the mainstream cinema these days but when you are me and you have had to experience your fair share of bland products in which and every single one was meant to be cheap seat fillers and you start to see films come out like Sin City then you can understand the excitement.
You had to truly be there for the 1990s to get the love for current cinema nowadays. It was the generation of cheap Kevin Willaimson irony as characters could realize that they were victims of cliche genre twist and turns but still die the embarrassing deaths of cliched characters of their particular genre labels. Kevin Williamson, while at first, he seemed our savior in creative writing, ultimately became it's biggest joke instead. And for the longest time after wards, when the 90s had lay claim to their wave of conformity and non nonchalant blandness there really was no hope.
But then something started occurring around 2004 around a little film called The 40 Year Old Virgin, a film was created that refused to be the cliche teeny bopper bull shit but was instead intelligent and well made. A spark of creativity was called for and over the next couple of years it has continued in ways that indicate a firestorm of creativity was going to come and sweep over the sea of studio film by products of conformation.
And in many ways it truly has. Not to the point where no one has to worry about their classics being remade into drivel, but in a way that suggests that smart and intelligent entertainment isn't truly dead as of yet. The era of Hostlels and Saws got rid of the smug sense of ironic bad taste left from Kevin Williamson and others of his ill a good percent. Comedies could be risky again and thrillers didn't always have to end in a cliche way again. Genres all around began to flourish and in a way the last couple of years has begun to somewhat sort of feel like it was the 1970s all over again.
And that is where I come to Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer. It absolutely feels like it is in a class with some of the greater classic thrillers from the 1970s. When I think of that period of time i think of films like 3 Days of the Condor, Day of the Jackal, The China Syndrome, The Parralex View and others and immediately think not only of this film but Green Zone as well. They fit so well into thsi cynical view of humanity and the system of life in general that it is rather hard not to compare.
The film centers around The Ghost (Ewan McGregor), a writer whose specialty is to help spice up the memoirs of controversial public figures as well. He has just been hired to do some work with former British prime minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), after he has just recently retired from the spotlight with his wife Ruth (Olivia Williams) after a scandal that has indicated that he may have been involved with a special relationship with the USA that led to suspects in the war on terrorism being tortured.
Lang's book may tell all but a new international controversy has begun to spread as The Ghost does his best to refurnish the book that may lead the Ghost to question his job, loyalties and what he really stands for and if anything is really as it seems.
Now whether you have a strong hatred of Roman Polanski or not as a director i beg of you to please do not let this influence you as a lover of films on seeing this. I have never gotten how people could go about doing this when it comes to the art that they love. I truly do not. Not everyone agrees with Sean Penn or George Clooney but you cannot deny that the guys pick some great material to work with and/or star in. You can hate Mel Gibson all you want for his racist rant against the jews but you cannot deny the visual eye he has as a director based on his comments.
And that is why I gave The Ghost Writer a view. Not based on any support of great respectable directors, but because of a respect for film in general. If you start doing that with film directors and celebrities in general then why support the art at the end of the day really? And it's why I so wholeheartedly recommend this as a film to give a view in a theater if you ever get the chance.
There is a certain majesty to the whole film that you cannot get with today's generation of filmmakers who only became directors by directing the latest Linken Park video. The events move in a stately way and viewers are actually, dare I say, asked to figure out the proceedings themselves without having to have their hands held and everything spelled out for them.
It's the smallest bits of attention to detail that truly make the film as well, not the overall big loud scenes that would make a film thriller of today. There are no loud car crashes that go on for five minutes here, no loud shoot outs. The tension lays in the way that The Ghost stumbles upon information and decides to react to it. And Polanski is just plain great when it comes to that and it just plain shows.
You really have to appreciate the true skill behind that a man like Polanski has at times like these days. He isn't young anymore but man does he know how to truly breathe fresh life into film genres. And not just that either but the other aspects of the film as well, such as some of the great barbs that McGregor's and William's characters throw towards each other as well. Or how the characters show their true natures as well.
And films like The Ghost Writer do indeed fill me with a certain amount of hope for the future of films, An intelligence has started to return when it comes to films of different genres and it shwos best in films like this one.