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Duplicity Movie Review by Karel Murray

- 30 March 2009, 08:03

Starring:  Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giamatti

by Karel Murray

How often have you wondered what old men look like in a fist fight?  Watching two corporate CEOs (Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti) hammering it out on an airport tarmac was worth the price of admission – especially when it is filmed in slow motion.  I never felt more like a baby boomer than I did during these scenes.  Each clumsy move and tight grimace made me appreciate how skillfully this was filmed.  Immediately, the premise is set regarding the absolutely hatred between the corporate giants and their intense desire to outdo each other in terms of growing and protecting their empires, making this a situation ripe for exploitation by two seasoned white collar spies.

Julia Roberts, ex CIA and Clive Owen, ex MI6, collaborate with each other in developing a long term scam so they can profit from the theft of company product secrets.  Through the use of flash backs, the film builds on their relationship and we understand it in context with current events.  This type of film editing helped keep the audience wondering who they can actually trust… which essentially defines the relationship between everyone in this film.

I never really appreciated the term “being played” until I saw this movie.  The art of skillful lying, expert emotional control to build a trustworthy persona to others, and acting out predetermined dialog made me feel a bit queasy.  No wonder individuals who have a lot to lose through corporate espionage find it difficult to really trust anyone.

Cleverly scripted, it was a fun, intriguing romp.

EO     Entertainment Only


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