Sleuth
Stop judging our love and leave us alone!

Theatrical Release Date: 10/12/2007
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Michael Caine, Jude Law, Harold Pinter, Carmel O’Sullivan

First of all, let me tell you I am giving this movie a strong 4 out 5. It is essentially 90 minutes of crackling dialog-with some fine actors engaged in some awesome verbal judo.

The story revolves around Milo (Jude Law) visiting the man he has cuckolded, a crime novelist named Andrew Wycke (Michael Caine) who lives in a bizarre postmodern house in the English countryside. It’s a lot like watching a fly land on a spider’s web. The fun is discovering which character is the fly, and who is falling into whose trap. As soon as they meet, the subtle insults, lies, and manipulations begin. The deceptions are so prolific that one is never sure if the character’s reactions are true or false, real or simply a falsified attempt to one up the other.

It is wonderful to watch Michael Caine chew scenery, and Jude Law isn’t bad himself, although there is one unsettling part when he reminds me of Cameron Diaz. The house itself almost forms it’s own demented character as the antagonists move through it in their attempts to outfox the other.

That’s the nub of it. The story starts off slow but quickly gets going and rarely slows down until the end. You don’t need to pee beforehand, as it’s only 90 minutes, but if you are watching it on DVD who cares…? The story is simple, and the characters are pretty easy to understand as well, despite their accents. The film is masterfully shot, at times adding to the confusion of the audience.

I was surprised to see that this movie had only a Fresh Rating of 33% at rottentomatoes.com. I am not sure if that means that there isn’t an audience for such an original dialog driven picture, or whether people just didn’t get it. Probably a little bit of both. I thought it was great.