A troubled young man retreats from the big city and his ex-wife for the tranquility of a small town. He is drawn into a relationship with a young woman whose boyfriend goes missing, leaving the new arrival as a suspect.
A young woman becomes inexplicably attracted to a man who is stalking her. When her boyfriend goes missing, the stalker is the immediate suspect, until a game of jealousy and betrayal turns deadly.Written by
"The Cry of the Owl" is a 2009 Canadian psychological-drama with thriller elements based on the Patricia Highsmith novel. The story revolves around Robert Forrester (Paddy Considine) who has a great job, but is in the process of a divorce and has recently moved out of the big city. He becomes intrigued by a random girl he spots at a country house and secretly gazes at her from the woods at night. A relationship eventually develops and the girl, Jenny (Julia Stiles), starts overly-monitoring him and he begins to regret the relationship. Meanwhile, Jenny's ex (James Gilbert) isn't happy about the situation and neither is Robert's ex (Caroline Dhavernas). The situation soon spirals out of control.
The story is fairly engaging and the actors are effective, particularly Considine as the protagonist, but the ending is ambiguous and left to interpretation. Regardless, the themes are intriguing: romanticism vs. logic, fate and fatalism vs. chance encounter, omens and signs vs. random happenings and the irony of role reversal or reaping what you sow.
It's not great and it's too pessimistic -- probably because it's really a tragedy -- but it's a solid psycho-drama with intriguing ideas that'll leave you pondering or scratching your head. The latter is why many people don't like it.
The film runs 100 minutes and was shot in Ontario.
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