The Ghost Writer [Blu-Ray] Roman Polanski

The Ghost Writer [Blu-Ray] Roman Polanski
Something consistent in many of writer/director Roman Polanski's films are protagonists that don't heed warnings, underestimating everyone they encounter with a charming, but flippant, demeanour that ironically makes them the perfect pawn in a far more elaborate game. Similarly, Ewan McGregor's titular ghost-writer accepts a gig rewriting the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) when the original writer mysteriously dies. He gets mugged, questioned by strangers in his hotel and has to read the previous manuscript in a secure location with security and aids everywhere, but still, he progresses less with concern and more with curious amusement as to the absurdity of everyone's behaviour. Even when Lang's wife, Ruth (Olivia Williams), strikes up a quiet flirtation with him, making catty remarks about her husband's assistant Amelia (Kim Cattrall), he merely raises an eyebrow, has a drink and dives into the writing task. In structure and execution, Polanski's latest is extremely similar to the somewhat more fantastical Ninth Gate. Both films tackle a slow-building mystery where logical, but odd, events are compounded into something larger and unprecedented involving coveted books. As the actors and Robert Harris (the author of the novel upon which this film is based) discuss in the Blu-Ray special features, there's specificity to the unfolding of events and composition of each shot that adds a dimension of unease and curiosity. Background characters are constantly in the periphery, watching or performing redundant tasks, the action occasionally takes place just out of the frame and washed-out dreariness overwhelms exterior shots. In fact, there is something unusual in just about every scene of this movie, whether it's an unlikely character reaction or the seemingly random positioning of an object in relation to its environment. Resultantly, there's a grander sense of conspiracy and almost supernatural potential, given the deliberate nature of every moment and constant opportunity for hidden double-meanings, making this one of those films perfect for repeat viewing. (eOne)