Review: The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer | Roman Polanski, 2010

In The Ghost Writer,  Ewan McGregor plays the titular Ghost Writer (like a true ghost writer, he is not given a name). He is hired to help former Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) write his memoirs after his original Ghost was found dead near where he was working. And so he goes to work, but everything about the operation is oddly secretive, but he just goes with it. But just as soon as he starts working on the book, a controversy breaks out about how Lang supporter torture of those who were suspected of being terrorists. And as he is left all alone with a deadline that is fast approaching, he find some information in the belongings of the previous Ghost that may bring an end to the controversy, but who it would affect is still a mystery. He tries to forget about it, but he finds himself drawn into the case, and he starts his own investigation, at the risk of ending up like the other Ghost.

If there is anything exception about the movie, it is the amosphere. Roman Polanski is a master at creating a creepy atmosphere, and this movie is no exception. In fact his work here is excellent. It is not very showy or has huge set pieces, but it is thrilling and has a claustrophophic feeling about it, as if you were the Ghost, and you feel the pressure and fear that he must be feeling. And I loved how he handled the ending, which to be honest, is rather cheap.

In the other departments, it is also quite good. The cinematography perfectly complements Polanski’s vision, Alexandre Desplat’s score is playful, yet myseterious. And the performances are quite excellent, but none of them blew me away. I must say, however, that Olivian Williams was the best out them all, as she does have the juiciest part, and that she looked rather sexy.

So, The Ghost Writer is not a masterpiece or anything, but it is an enjoyable and thrilling movie with an atmosphere that many directors would give their kidneys to be able to create. In this age when a movie by a master like Peter Weir nearly goes direct to video because a studion doesn’t want to take a risk, it is great to see another master like Polanski getting movies out on the mainstream.


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