Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles Partners About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore
  Publicity Stills of "Stranger Than Fiction"
(Courtesy from Columbia TriStar)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Marc Forster
Cast: Emma Thompson, Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah
RunTime: 1 hr 53 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: PG

Opening Day: 28 December 2006

Synopsis :

An inventive comedy about an author of tragic novels who’s struggling to complete her latest and best book. She only has to figure out a way to kill off her main character, Harold Crick, and she’ll be finished. Little does she know that Harold Crick is alive and well in the real world and suddenly, and inexplicably, guided by her words. Fiction and reality collide when the bewildered and hilariously resistant Harold hears what she has in mind and realizes he must find the author and persuade her to change he (and his) ending.

Movie Review:

People say you should have music in your life, like a soundtrack to a movie but having a naration just takes the cake.

Welcome to the life of Harold Crick, a bland, dull IRS auditor that leads a bland, dull existence. Crick regulates his life down to the minute, catching the bus every morning at the exact same time, taking pre-determined lunch breaks and otherwise living his life by a stultifying, suffocating routine that leaves no room for spontaneity or intimate relationships. But all that is about to change when one uneventful morning, while brushing his teeth, begins to near a woman's voice
narrating his every move, commenting on his actions and his inactions.

Directed by Marc Forster, "Stranger Than Fiction" is a darkly whimsical dramedy that manages to walk the line between mainstream and unconventional. Wider audiences will be taken by the way that the imaginative story plays itself out with few moments of pandering, while more naturally experimental, or niche, viewers will appreciate that the film doesn't always play things safe or dumb down the script in clichés by taking a decidedly Charlie Kaufmanesque premise and spins it into a occasionally unfocused, slightly overlong, but mostly entertaining film.

The film features the most subdued performance of Will Farrell's onscreen career. Known and loved by millions of moviegoers for his often dim-witted, well-intentioned characters and broad physical comedy, Farrell is obviously trying to break into dramatic roles or at least broaden his repertoire before his persona becomes irrevocably fixed in the minds of moviegoers. Either way, Farrell gives a solid performance, never overplaying the role of the emotionally repressed milquetoast.

As for the remainder of the veteran cast, Emma Thompson plays up her character's twitchiness without going into caricature or camp. Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a relaxed, easy-to-watch performance as the romantic interest while Queen Latifah has a few choice interactions with Emma Thompson's character that plays up her persona as smart, no-nonsense, and always ready for a quip. As the slightly befuddled professor, Dustin Hoffman doesn't stretch much, but he also keeps his performance style low key and mellow, a perfect complement for the Farrell's subdued turn as the protagonist.

“Stranger Than Fiction” is not a fluff film. Literate and engaging, it may parade around in nonsensical clothes but just scratch the surface a vast reservoir of post-modern existentialism. How much of our lives do we actually control and how much is already decided for us? More importantly still, are we able to bend the ear of fate and does it have our best interests at heart?

With a strong eye for details both visual and physiological – Forster has crafted more of a fable than a film: an unhurried, whimsical, uncommonly intelligent tale about romance, the self-made man, and what it truly means to be human. More than that, it confronts the responsibilities of art. When author Eiffel discovers the truth of her situation – that to finish her novel would mean the death of a flesh-and-blood man – she is faced with the choice of finally writing an acclaimed
masterpiece or saving the life of a hum-drum everyman barely anyone would miss anyway.

Her decision, I leave for you to discover.

Uneven though it some parts may be, "Stranger Than Fiction" is a well-made and smart film that a wide spectrum of viewers are sure to be taken with. The implausible conundrum of a person's life being written as he lives it is handled with a realistic tone that has one questioning as they watch Harold how they would go on about their days knowing that their fate was planned out in advance by a higher power. There have been deeper explorations of such a notion in other pictures, but "Stranger Than Fiction" remains an enjoyable experience that ably mixes existentialism with a lighthearted touch.

Movie Rating:

(A refreshing metafictional, romantic tragicomedy that celebrates the beauty of life,
love, and the written words in between)

Review by Lokman B S


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004-2006, movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.