Monday, November 29, 2010
The Game; Thriller, USA, 1997; D: David Fincher, S: Michael Douglas, Deborah Kara Unger, Sean Penn, James Rebhorn
Nicolas Van Orton is a dormant and bored millionaire who just turned 48 - the same age his father had when he committed suicide. Nicolas' brother Conrad has a unique present for him - participating in a mysterious game by company "CRS" that promises stimulation for its clients. Soon, Nicolas is in the middle of confusion: when he and a certain Christine bring a sick man to the hospital, the lights turn off and all the doctors turn out as actors and disappear, while the two of them run away from a dog. The next day, Nicolas finds nude photos of her while his house if plastered with graffiti, he almost dies in a taxi cab and even his lawyer cheats on him. It's as if every person he knows are in the game. He ends up broke and decides to find the person behind all of this - Conrad. When he shows up, the game stops.
Excellent thriller masterfully controls twists and events on the edge of reality, whereas director David Fincher creates a dark-intense mood full of explosive energy - if only the viewers are willing to suspense their belief during its running time. What to circle out in this abundance? As first, the screenplay by John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris that seems like a junction between "The Conversation" and a darker version of the comedy "The Man Who Knew too Little": the opening is slightly lax, a substantial amount of events may seem unconvincing on unrealistic, but everything is full of powerful style and paranoia: are the events around Nicolas a deadly trap aimed at driving him insane or is it just a harmless game? "What is going on here?" sums up the very good Michael Douglas in one scene, whereas the film speaks about the boring lives of some rich people who need to be transformed from a lax office man into a warrior in order to stir them up from their lethargy. The semi-twist ending is also extremely suspenseful which is why the movie can be forgiven for quiet a few inconsistencies.