I was hesitant to watch this movie at first. It seemed like just another drama-thriller with Daniel Craig (aka James Bond, which I liked). I’ll preface myself by saying; I don’t like watching a movie that seems too formulated. Although many movies are, I try to stay away from “Hollywood formula” films. Once a movie is constructed to have a certain plot and outcome, it becomes pointless to watch since I know what’s going to happen. But some of you may not feel this way.
Anyways, I ended up going to GWADT and I was pleasantly surprised. It was a unique film that contained a strong plot and great acting. I had not read the book and wasn’t really sure what the plot was about. While I enjoyed many parts of the movie, there were some elements that were lacking (which I’ll touch on later).
Firstly, the acting was great. There was a terrific cast that worked really well together. Daniel Craig played his usual Bond-type role, which worked well in this film. He was stern yet loving as a man hired to solve a murder mystery. He gets caught in a more twisted tale as Rooney Mara comes to his aid. Mara was also nice to watch as a new comer. I had not remembered her from her previous roles (the ex-girlfriend in ‘The Social Network’) so it was nice to see a fresh face. She was dramatic and cutting edge. She played a dark and deeply disturbed loner girl, which resonated well throughout the film. My 3rdfavorite actor in this film was Christopher Plummer. He’s a strong actor who keeps my attention for a man his age. His eyes and voice are deep and concrete, which draws me in to believe everything he says. I like him in almost everything he’s played in (I have yet to watch Beginners—which he won an Oscar for recently).
The movie’s plot line is very well made. It moved well, but towards the end it began to drag (I’ll touch on that later). The film is gruesome too, which keeps it raw and real. It stays true to the fact that rape and physical abuse is a disturbing and terrifying experience. There were scenes that made the theater patrons feel uncomfortable, but it wasn’t too overbearing. The film also contained an element of mystery, which kept my interest. It visually excited me too, containing beautiful scenic environments. Everything from the forest-hidden homes to the grandiose mountains used in the film resonates with the theme, dark and chilling. The majority of the film was probably shot somewhere in Eastern Europe, like Russia or Poland. I will also mention that this film is heavy in dialogue and symbolic meaning. You have to be able to deal with twisted (and sometimes confusing) conversations and silently chilling scenes.
My one other caveat is that the movie does tend to run a little long. It’s one of those films that contains a scene which you think is going to end the movie, but it just keeps going. I personally was annoyed and felt that the movie was dragging the last twenty minutes. It was delving too deep into another sub-plot that seemed unnecessary.
But all in all the film was a pleasant experience, which I recommend to others. I enjoyed the acting and was captivated by the unique plotline. The best way to put it is, GWADT is a dark action-packed conversation-heavy thriller.
BONUS: Thoughts on Rooney Mara’s Oscar Nomination
Although she played well, she definitely didn’t deserve the Oscar, at least not yet. She has a few more years to perfect her acting skills. The fact that Meryl Streep’s performance in ‘The Iron Lady’ was amazing didn’t help Rooney’s case either. ‘The Iron Lady’ was a mediocre, and sometimes slow moving, film, but Streep made it exceptional. She definitely deserved the Oscar. At times I would forget it was Meryl Streep playing the role, which is the epitome of a great a great actor.