Director: Roman Polanski
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Kim Cattrall, Olivia Williams,
Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Hutton, Tom Wilkinson, James Belushi
RunTime: 2 hrs 12 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: NC-16 (Coarse Language And Brief Nudity)
Official Website: http://www.theghostwriter-movie.com/
Opening Day: 20 May 2010
a successful British ghost writer, THE GHOST WRITER , agrees
to complete the memoirs of former British Prime Minister ADAM
LANG, his agent assures him it's the opportunity of a lifetime.
But the project seems doomed from the start - not least because
his predecessor on the project, Lang's long-term aide, died
in an unfortunate accident.
GHOST WRITER flies out to work on the project, in the middle
of winter, in an oceanfront house on an island off the US
Eastern seaboard. But the day after he arrives, a former British
cabinet minister accuses Lang of authorizing the illegal seizure
of suspected terrorists and handing them over for torture
by the CIA—a war crime. The controversy brings reporters
and protesters swarming to the island mansion where Lang is
staying with his wife, RUTH, and his personal assistant (and
mistress), AMELIA. As THE GHOST WRITER works, he begins to
uncover clues suggesting his predecessor may have stumbled
on a dark secret linking Lang to the CIA—and that somehow
this information is hidden in the manuscript he left behind.
Was Lang in the service of the American intelligence agency
while he was Prime Minister? And was THE GHOST WRITER's predecessor
murdered because of the appalling truth he uncovered?
with topical themes, this atmospheric and suspenseful political
thriller is a story of deceit and betrayal on every level
– sexual, political and literary. In a world in which
nothing, and no one, is as it seems, THE GHOST WRITER quickly
discovers that the past can be deadly -- and that history
is decided by whoever stays alive to write it.
When a brilliant opportunity presents itself but at the same time has potentially dire consequences, would you be willing to step up and seize the chance? Such is the situation for our protagonist in this movie, The Ghost Writer (Ewan McGregor). He is named such as his real name is never fully revealed in the movie, keeping things close to the title. The Ghost Writer is convinced by his agent that this is one opportunity he should not easily let go of; afterall it will be the ex-Prime Minister's, Adam Lang's (Pierce Brosnan) memoirs. This is when he discovers that his predecessor had been found dead under mysterious circumstances.
The movie then moves into thrilling territory with The Ghost Writer when he discovers his predecessor's findings about Adam Lang just as he is being accused by the media and public for being a war criminal and lobbying for him to stand for trial. He is transported to a small island in America where Adam Lang himself is hiding away from the glare of the public eye. As he starts to sort out the discrepancies, The Ghost Writer also starts to piece together a puzzle, one which he has gotten himself into far too deeply. This involves him going on a "secret" mission to dig up more dirt, being followed and even having to trust complete strangers, all of which could potentially involve the CIA too!. The right ingredients to the makings of a good mystery thriller? Yes indeed.
From the onset, the music and the premise suggests that it is probably a Woody Allen movie (Cassandra's Dream or Match Point anyone?) but by now you would know that it is the work of another Academy Award winning director, Roman Polanski. While not particularly his best work to date, this movie will take you on an exciting ride. When the essentials are introduced and our protagonist's task to write the memoirs begins, only a master storyteller like Polanski can deftly keep one in suspense right till the end. Never letting the camera off The Ghost Writer, the audience has no choice but to stick with him as he seeks the truth.
The casting of the movie is pretty inspired. Ewan McGregor's protagonist was well played to a T, a consistently reliable actor and Pierce Brosnan reminds us that he can do the serious stuff and this reviewer is quite thankful that Hugh Grant turned down the role of Adam Lang. Brosnan for some odd reason feels more suited for the role of an ex-Prime Minister. However, the one actress who brings much balance and a possibly, a sense of gravitas the movie, would be Olivia Williams (X-Men 3, An Education), who plays Ruth Lang, wife to Adam Lang. Williams is always fantastic in most of the movies she acts in but often times, remain understated. Here, in this movie, she plays an integral role in The Ghost Writer’s quest.
The Ghost Writer is a welcome addition to the cinemas amidst the impending blockbuster season. A well-crafted story is always appreciated and this Hitchcock-ian inspired movie is the flavour of the week for sleuths.
(An engaging and suspenseful thriller with a well-crafted story)
Review by Mohamad Shaifulbahri