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Secret Window

Typical Stephen King adaptation. But this one stars Johnny Depp.

By now, most people are already familiar with the elements of an adapted Stephen King story. You have the "it's-all-in-the-mind" thing going on, which is already enough to drive one crazy. Then you also have the cryptic words with double meanings. In this case, it's Shooter, the name of the villain played by John Turturro, which doubles as "Shoot Her," which is what Johnny Depp must do to his wife. Screw the spoilers, this is an old film anyway.

Johnny Depp plays the writer Mort Rainey, who forces himself into solitary confinement in order to write. Depp's acting is always excellent, and there is never a dull moment when he is onscreen. Mort Rainey is in fact a bit of a serious character, but Johnny Depp is able to make snide remarks that are really funny, but which do not compromise the tone of the film. He gives some jabs of sarcasm, all consistent with his character, without even letting his performance border on anything remotely comedic. That, ladies and gents, is fine acting.

John Turturro, on the other hand, is another brilliant creature altogether. Turturro is underrated simply because he chooses to do comedy instead of more serious roles like this one. But Turturro's acting talent cannot be denied.

Director David Koepp (who co-wrote the screenplay with the original author Stephen King) tells a relatively straight, concise story, yet somehow, he falls short in the suspense department. I mean Depp and Turturro can hold a suspense flick, no question, but their performances depend heavily on the script as well. What is not in the script cannot possibly appear onscreen. Well honestly, I'm not quite sure if the failure is in the directing or in the script, since Stephen King is, after all, partly responsible for the screenplay.

Final verdict: Terrific performances, yet not-so-effective treatment of the material.

*some info from imdb.com.
pic from scribbleking.typepad.com

Secret Window. USA. 2004.

Rating: Six and a half over ten.


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