It would be great if we could comment comment on an existing review at imd, such as the one by some "licensed clinical psychologist" which has been been chosen as spotlight review. Now this fella in all his psychotherapeutic wisdom acts like a 5 year old and takes this film literally and passes judgment on Gere's character's psychiatric practices. Is he nuts? It's a damn film for Christ's sake, and a neo noir!!! Of course the shrink will cross the "boundaries" with his patients and act unprofessionally and "needily", he's supposed to be setting up a drama. Let alone that these things ALSO happen in real life. Drama's are not set up by shrinks who act according to AMA rules and psychiatric ethics. To pass judgment on the film on such grounds is like saying that Dumbo is not supposed to fly because elephants don't. PLEASE, IMDb, take this review off the front page,it's insulting.
OK. on with the review: THIS IS A GREAT NEO NOIR FILM, ACTUALLY IT'S PROBABLY THE BEST NEO NOIR AND ONE OF THE BEST CRIME/SUSPENSE/LOVE DRAMA FILMS I VE WATCHED.
Why? The plot is intelligent, it has plenty of twists, and surprisingly very few holes in it (that ANY neo noir or crime thriller for that matter even David Mammet is going to have). Even the more clever viewers are going to miss some of the twists and they won't see them coming. But anyway most here complained that it went to fast for them...may I suggest they use a staple of the modern DVD/blue ray/VCR the pause button and reflect in the interim pause...The script is also highly emotionally charged. Of course that's happening within the confines of its genre, it's not a film heavy on realism but provided you abide by the codes of the noir, there's plenty of pain here, shame, longing, distrust, antagonism, hate, love, friendship not only involving the main characters but every single minor character too. It's also very NUANCED which I suspect is why the film warrants the "this film sucks" comment gracing the boards.
All characters are very conflicted, very human, you can't pin them down to a simpleton archetype, the good doc, the manipulative patient, say, because they all have their blind spots and conflicts. I am sure a lot of people will hate this -why's the script writer messing about-, he or she should be acting in this a to b to c predictable way. Yet this is what makes the film so great, far better than the Hitchkokian bore it alludes to.
THE CAST IS ALSO GREAT, EVERYONE. They all nail down their roles to the tee. And then you have the main trio, Richard Gere and Kim Basinger in their prime, and Uma Thurman in one of her budding roles. What else does one want from the lead roles in film? First of all they are all stunning. Now that might not mean much to most in, and it doesn't mean anything to me either most of the time, but these three are not just good looking, they are gifted. They all have a once in thirty years in film charm to them. Seriously folks has their been a more charming lead than the good Buddhist Richard Gere, after Brando, and maybe coming close to him Mickey Roorke and Johny Depp. Who? Mat f. Damon? Gere has such a tender yet tough face, I won't do him justice describing his charisma here in a small review. Anyone who's got eyes can see. And so is Kim, I re-watched the film recently and after all the Scarlett Johansens and Kate Hudsons we 've seen recently you can tell that Hollywood has dropped the ball big time... look at the nineties they had Kim, and Madeleine Stowe, and Jessica Lange and, and, and...this are dirt poor times wrt to actresses' talent.
Kimmie is just fantastic here, the tone of her voice, the understated performance, she oozes charm with a mere glance. He chemistry with Mr. Gere is like hand and glove too. And she's a way, way underrated actress. This girl is up there with the top stars of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, she's a Marilyn. She plays a very complex character here and there's not a single scene where she's not mesmerizing...An all too brief nod -for no other reason than brevity for this review- to Uma and the rest of the cast, I ll just say that the scenes with Uma on the couch have such a suspenseful and seductive mood, the way she phrases her dream and looks at the shrink, Uma another natural talent.
I also really liked the directing here but the 1000 word limit calls. I loved the motifs: the lighthouse, the promise of love, the chance that love and truth above all can undo the damage, the remorseless nature of damage being done and perpetuated. Those who've watched the film will know what I mean, and I am not giving anything away to those who haven't. Last but not least I find George Fenton's score excellent, a really intricate part of the whole film. Maybe it could have been a bit more risky and less classic, but I think this austerity and measured portions of predictability and inventiveness only add to this very classy and elegant film which to me is a lost gem.