Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Secret Window

(2004) **** 1/2
Johnny Depp gets away with looking beautiful and wearing the most tacky outfits in the film adaptation of Stephen King's Secret Window. The plot is something only a writer could conjure as horrific: plagiarism!

The best looking man with the most vomit-inducing name, Mort Rainey *gag*, is looking for inspiration for his next novel amidst an ugly divorce and the presence of John Shooter (portrayed by John Tuturro), a backwoods hick from Mississippi who accuses Rainey of stealing his story.
If Mr. Shooter sees the '94 magazine in which Rainey's story is featured, he will leave him alone. Sounds easy, right? Well, Secret Window falls under the same premise as many movies, at times to a fault, of the antagonist posing a reasonably low threat. The goal seems like a piece of cake but so many personal conflicts -- between Rainey, his ex-wife, and her new fiancee -- get in the way from Mort accomplishing this.
I want to plagiarize that knit sweater by re-creating it.

I give this such a high rating because it's something that I occasionally throw in the DVD player year after year and there are still little details that I notice, as well as the excitement that goes into the creative process. Even though Depp has reached a point in his career where you can't see past him to see his character, he still brings the necessary depth to make his involvement in the story believable. I love stories like this because it provides a template that can be expressed through many creative media. Secret Window is a story constructed such that it would work perfectly well without gore, or as a two-person play set in one room. The message would be just as effective regardless of the number of players or the degree of violence.

3 comments:

Catfreeek said...

I remember liking this though I haven't seen it in a long time. Nice review, I love movies that are fresh every time you watch them.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I was going to say the exact same thing Catfreeek did. I have vague fond memories but can't recall the details. Good review!

Octopunk said...

"Even though Depp has reached a point in his career where you can't see past him to see his character, he still brings the necessary depth to make his involvement in the story believable."

I want to argue the first part of that because I love Johnny Depp so much, but he is such a huge star now I don't think I can make the case (unless he's buried under a lot of costume, like Capt. Jack Sparrow). But my knee-jerk reaction is unecessary anyway, because of the astute way you round out the idea.