On his birthday, Walter Sparrow, an amiable dog-catcher, takes a call that leaves him dog bit and late to pick up his wife. She's browsed in a bookstore, finding a blood-red-covered novel, a murder mystery with numerology that loops constantly around the number 23. The story captivates Walter: he dreams it, he notices aspects of his life that can be rendered by "23," he searches for the author, he stays in the hotel (in room 23) where events in the novel took place, and he begins to believe it was no novel. His wife and son try to help him, sometimes in sympathy, sometimes to protect him. Slowly, with danger to himself and to his family, he closes in on the truth. Written by
The plot is largely based on the philosophical writings of William S. Burroughs, who came to believe that the number 23 held mystical significance after encountering it during significant moments in his life. Burroughs eventually wrote the screenplay "The Last Words of Dutch Schultz" around this concept, in which he used the deathbed ramblings of mobster Dutch Schultz as a springboard for telling a story based around Schultz's life - which, in Burrough's vision, revolved around recurrences of the number 23. See more »
(at around 1h 4 mins) When Agatha enters the Nathaniel Institute, it is dark outside, but when we see her again in the doctor's office, bright light is shining through the windows. When she leaves again it is dark. See more »
A week ago, the only thing I thought was out of the ordinary was that it was my birthday.
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I like Jim Carrey, not because he is a comedian, but because he emerged as a serious actor in attempting to select good roles that will give him the variety of dimensions to display his talent.
The story of the movie is about a happy married man Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) and his wife Agatha (Virginia Madsen) and son Robin (Logan Lerman). One day as a gift his wife presents him with a novel The Number 23. On reading it Walter realizes the similarities the novel has with his life. The novel turns out to be a thriller with a murder mystery. Walter gets engaged into the paranoia of number 23 and tries to find a running parallel in real life to identify the characters and solve the murder mystery. Like a detective Walter traces the murderer and unknown writer of the novel. One clue leads to another, and another until the end, the real murderer is exposed. I won't tell you the secret. Just a clue that the novel is written by someone named Topsy Eret.
The narrative of the movie is a bit puzzling, and I think the Director Joel Schumacher must have intentionally worked on it that way. Why I say this is because after the movie got over, I had the urge to see the movie again to understand the early half properly, and get more clarity in why the story is told in this manner and how the events are unfolded. But will I go and see the movie again, not really.
The movie is good, but not brilliant. It eclipse on the fringe areas of brilliance but falls shorts due to its direction. In the past Joel Schumacher has struggled to make commercially successful movie even with a good storyline on his hand. Here too he flounders. The saving grace of this thriller is one and only Jim Carrey, who carries the whole burden of this movie on his shoulder, and makes us believe in the magical number 23.
After seeing the movie, I remembered my Dad who has paranoia of number 5. The amazing past time my Dad and Mom together had was when they found ways to add, subtract, multiply and divide any number to arrive at an answer that was 5. It is a unique ability and obviously paranoia. But it is amusing.
The same paranoia has been presented here with a mysterious thriller storyline. To some extend the director achieves success to telling us this novel story of number 23.
Jim Carrey looks haggard with age, but has played the character brilliantly. Virginia Madsen and Logan Lerman have acted decently but nothing worth historic to mention here.
Go and see it if you are a Jim Carrey fan or if you have a fascination for NUMBERS, both ways you will enjoy this movie.
(Stars 6 out of 10)
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