Middle aged Sy Parrish works as a technician at a one hour photo lab located in a SavMart store in a suburban mall. Sy is a lonely man, never having had any friends. He knows much about his customers through the photographs they have developed. But he knows more about the Yorkin family - specifically Nina Yorkin and her adolescent son Jake Yorkin, the two in the family who drop off and pick up the family's photofinishing - the family about whom he is obsessed, than anyone else. Nina's husband, Will Yorkin, is incidental to his obsession since Sy has only seen him in photographs. Sy's obsession includes fantasizing about being their favorite "Uncle Sy". He has even been making an extra set of prints for himself of all of their photographs since Jake was a newborn. After an incident at work and after Sy finds out more about the family through a set of photographs, he decides to right the injustices he sees in the only way he knows how. His actions demonstrate his true mental state.Written by
The hotel where the abduction takes place, where Sy photographs the adulterers, is called "the Edgerton". This is a reference to the scientific engineer Harold Eugene "Doc" Edgerton, most famous for his pioneering work with high speed stroboscopic flash. This technique made it possible to photograph very high speed events, and some of Edgerton's most well-known images are of a bullet in flight cutting through a playing card, a bullet passing through an apple, a balloon bursting, and a drop of milk falling into a into a glass of milk, forming a perfect milk coronet. See more »
When Nina first gives Sy rolls film to develop it is consumer grade Fujifilm Color 400 as it goes into the machine. On the internal rollers and after he develops it, the film changes to Kodak Portra (400VC) See more »
[Quoting Deepak Chopra]
The things you're most afraid of have already happened.
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An early cut of the film had several differences than the theatrical version.
The opening Fox Searchlight logo briefly becomes a negative image as it fades out. This is obviously a reference to picture negatives.
An alternate prologue before the main titles featured a narration by Williams on the red eye effect in human's and animals, while a photo of a family with red eyes, footage of animals with this effect and video of what's happening in the eye when this happens.
There was also a scene near the end where a police detective reviews the pictures Sy took of Will & Maya at the hotel. In the theatrical version these photos were never shown and it was left in question whether they were actually taken.
The argument between Sy and the photo machine repair guy was extended.
I always knew that Robin Williams could do more than make us laugh.I knew that if he wanted to,he could scare us to death.Williams' turn as the loner willing to do bad things all in the name of right is done with dead on precision.There was always a versatility beneath the comedic improvisation we know him for.Williams executed this role with flying colors.So well,in fact,that I often forgot he was merely acting.While the supporting cast has their moments,this film is all Williams.His character is comparable to a certain deranged cab driver played by Robert DeNiro all those years ago.Though DeNiro's performance will never be topped,Williams work here ranks right up there.Well worth watching
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