Nicholas Van Orton is a very wealthy San Francisco banker, but he is an absolute loner, even spending his birthday alone. In the year of his 48th birthday (the age his father committed suicide) his brother Conrad, who has gone long ago and surrendered to addictions of all kinds, suddenly returns and gives Nicholas a card giving him entry to unusual entertainment provided by something called Consumer Recreation Services (CRS). Giving up to curiosity, Nicholas visits CRS and all kinds of weird and bad things start to happen to him. Written by
I have to say I didn't expect this. I didn't have great expectations when I saw this. Especially considering the cold reception given to it by critics and audiences alike. But it is one of the most original Hollywood thrillers ever.
The story is about an investment banker named Nicholas Van Orton(Michael Douglas in one of his best roles) who is greedy and self centred and who lives alone in his huge mansion. His brother(Sean Penn) gives him a card telling him to contact the company and it is his birthday present to him. What follows is absolute edge of the seat stuff and it shows David fincher at a time when he made some of the finest movies ever seen in Hollywood. In the midst of all this, he meets a waitress named Christine. Revealing more might spoil the movie for you as it is a fun roller-coaster ride with many twists and turns.
What impressed me about this movie was the atmosphere throughout the movie. It is classic David fincher with the dark tone and great background music. The camera work is excellent especially in the scene where his father falls down to his death. These scenes also show another side to Nicholas van orton and indicate why he became the way he is. He starts out as a one dimensional guy but then when faced with crisis he shows so many sides. I feel the game is more a character study because it shows the myriad changes in his behaviour throughout the movie. Rather than depending on gimmicky twists and quick editing(which is the popular way of making movies today), The Game depends solely on atmosphere and the strength of its performances. Deborah Kara Unger gives a great performance as a character with shades of grey. She is the perfect person for this character with her mysterious look. Sean penn as usual gives a great performance but unfortunately he doesn't have much screen time.
Another aspect of the movie is the dark humor. Michael Douglas gives certain comments with a deadpan delivery that makes it even more humorous. In many ways the Game can be described as a satire on society and how people forget the most important things in life when pursuing success. It is interesting how facing a crisis brings out the most basic emotions in people and how it changes people is the basic theme of this movie. We experience the same emotions as Nicholas and thus it becomes a ride where we don't know the truth till the last moment.
I had tears in my eyes at the end and the credit should go to the direction and the music. The slow motion sequence at the end is also well done and this has got to be one of the best endings of all time.
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