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Two extremely clever British men are in a game of trickery and deceit. Andrew Wyke, an aging famous author who lives alone in a high-tech mansion, after his wife Maggie has left him for a younger man; and Milo Tindle, an aspiring actor, equipped with charm and wit, who demonstrates both qualities once again. When Wyke invites Tindle to his mansion, Tindle seeks to convince the former into letting his wife go by signing the divorce paper. However, Wyke seems far more interested in playing mind games with his wife's new lover, and lures him into a series of actions he thoroughly planned in seeking revenge on his unfaithful spouse. Written by
Postalj (Taken from Sa'ar Vardi's post)
Worth taking a look at, if not for the plot, then for the powerful performances by Law and Caine and unique (if flawed) direction by Branagh
Luckily for me, I didn't watch the original 1972 version of Sleuth, so I didn't know what to expect upon entering the theater, nor did I have any previous basis of comparison. That's a good thing, you see, as this slick and stylish one-on-one thriller kept me and my friend on the edge of our seats throughout its whole 86 minutes running time. Now, this may seem short for a film like this, but trust me - it's a satisfying feature, that'll leave you highly entertained once the credits start to roll.
Based on a play, Sleuth confronts two extremely clever British men in a game of trickery and deceit. Our characters are Andrew Wyke (the one and only Michael Cain), an aging famous author who lives alone in a high-tech mansion after his wife Maggie has left him for a younger man; and Milo Tindle, the younger man, an aspiring actor, equipped with charm and wit(portrayed by the always charmantic Jude Law, who demonstrates both qualities once again). When Wyke invite Tindle to his mansion, Tindle seeks to convince the former into letting his wife go by signing the divorce paper. However, Wyke seems far more interested in playing mind games with his wife's new lover, and lures him into a series of actions he thoroughly planned in seeking revenge on his unfaithful spouse.
Much can't be said about what happens from here on out without spoiling the movie, but I'll try the best to bring the jest of what I felt towards the end result whilst speaking in general terms.
As a play would unfold, Sleuth is built of three prominent acts, each raising the stakes our protagonists are willing to take as part of this one-on-one confrontation. However, while I found the first two extremely sarcastic, intriguing and dare I say mean (but not in a cruel manner); the final act was a bit of a let down, one that didn't live up to the lofty anticipation the first two led me into building.
Alas, these reservations of mine are what kept this film from becoming a real treat in my book, and left it more in the realms of an entertaining ride of a lesser value (for me). Still, I don't regret I checked this one out for one second. Law and Caine both hand out terrific performances, with Law outdoing even himself this time. This superb actor demonstrates a wide range of emotions on screen, and tricking even good old cynic me in the second act at that. I really wish he'd gain more recognition for his ongoing work, and the year end awards which are rapidly approaching are a good place to start. If the Academy will dismiss\ignore his work here, I'll be really disappointed this time around.
Another good thing to keep your eye out for while checking this one out is the wonderful camera work and musical theme that haunt you throughout the feature. Special kudos goes to director Kenneth Branagh, who shows us how a talky script could easy become a sufficient thriller by knowing when and where to place the camera, and how to place the proper lighting and music in a given scene. It's this experience and technique that help turn 2007's Sleuth into an effective piece of work; one that's worth taking a look at, if not for the plot, then (to the very least) for the powerful performances by Jude Law and Michael Caine and unique direction by Branagh.
Watched at the International Haifa Film Festival, Israel, October 2007.
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