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The story of Karen Silkwood, a metallurgy worker at a plutonium processing plant who was purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing blatant worker safety violations at the plant.
Worn down and out of luck, aging publisher Will Randall is at the end of his rope when a younger co-worker snatches both his job and wife out from under his nose. But after being bit by a wolf, Will suddenly finds himself energized, more competitive than ever, and possessed with amazingly heightened senses. Meanwhile, the beautiful daughter of his shrewd boss begins to fall for him - without realizing that the man she's begun to love is gradually turning into the creature by which he was bit. Written by
Mark Neuenschwander, <email@example.com>
Now HERE is a film to sort out the average from the anything-but-average viewer. The reviews I have read sadden me, as they suggest a respective ratio of 98 : 2
If you cannot see the absolute brilliance and talent that went into this deceptively clever and involving movie, why declare your obvious limitations by writing about it? Of course it was never going to be your average run of the mill lycanthropic bite-fest. Was that ever likely with Mike Nichols directing and Nicholson starring?
The film is a dedication to BELIEFS, to unseen beauty, unacknowledged links and to the predator in all of us. It is a tale of romance and magnificence. Way up there in my own personal top 50 films of all time I could never tire of watching this film and LISTENING..and this word is the key.
HEARING becomes an intrinsic part of Nicholson's transformation after he is bitten by a wolf on his way home one night in upstate New York. He works as senior editor in an upmarket publishing house that is taken over by a conglomerate headed up by Christopher Plummer in one of his superb little Christopher Plummer characterisations. Nicholson's Will Randall is offered the job no-one wants by Plummer to catalyse his hoped-for resignation. The essence of the wolf however already in his blood sharpens his instincts and he takes the fight up to Plummer ultimately forcing a back-down.
Of so many wonderful scenes presented, it is hard to nominate a favorite but that where he meets Plummer's daughter (Michelle Pfeiffer) stands as one of the great verbal exchanges ever put down on film. Up there with Pacino and De Niro in HEAT, Pacino and Keanu Reeves in THE DEVILS ADVOCATE, sparks just fly as the old pro shreds her veneer of impenetrable coldness and gets plenty back, all the time both unconsciously aware of something quite outside their experiences, taking hold somewhere in another dimension.
My personal nomination for stand out scene, is the sequence where Will Randall, concerned and confused as to what is happening to him, consults alternative health doctor Vijay Alezias (so humbly played by Om Puri) who understands what afflicts Randall and explains to him the "nature" of the wolf and the strength it will ultimately bequeath upon him. In a scene so absolutely touching, he proffers his hand to Nicholson and explaining that he is an old man with limited time left asks "Would you honor me with your bite?" How ANYONE could watch that and not be moved to an emotional melt-down I just don't know. The utter confusion reigning then in Randall's expression when he declines is just acting on another level altogether.
James Spader who is consistently one of the most repulsive of actors (maybe thats his talent?) in a litany of warped and twisted roles plays the corporate climber not just happy to take Randall's job, but his friend's wife (smallish role for Nelligan) as well. The washroom scene where Nicholson announces simply "Just marking out my territory" was worth seeing alone!
Many have complained bitterly that the finale descends into a "typical b-grade werewolf movie." Jeez, they ARE WEREWOLVES for God's sake what did you expect Nichols to come up with? a fight to the death with mouse pads? The absolute last scene where Pfeiffer's eyes morph into the wolf was an inspirational touch. Easily one of HER best films!
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