Secret Window (2004)
Title: Secret Window
Genre: Drama | Mystery |Thriller |
Runtime: 96 min
Director: David Koepp
Starring: Johnny Depp, Maria Bello, John Turturro
A successful writer in the midst of a painful divorce is stalked at his remote lake house by a would-be scribe who accuses him of plagiarism.
NICE AND SIMPLE THRILLER STORY
In today’s movie industry there have been a lot of adaptions of Stephen Kings works with both good and bad results. With IT: Chapter 2 coming out later this year (2019), I thought it would be appropriate to dive down in the previous tries of adaptions his literary works.
I decided to start with Secret Window (2004). A movie about the emotionally struggling writer Mort Rainey, who wakes up one day to a weird crazy guy accusing him of stealing his story in his latest book. The situation goes out of hand very quickly, with threats and violence. It even starts to evolve Mort’s relationship to his ex-wife, Amy. The story´s outer scale premise is simple but the twist, in the end, gives it a deeper meaning, where we – the viewers get an inside look into the human´s darkest mind. You recognize Stephen King´s literary influence with how the movie uses lots of symbolic metaphors, like how the “Secret Window” is literally a secret window which shows us Mort´s psychic and life. This is a story I can understand would fly over the head of the typical film viewer. I needed to reflect sometimes under the viewing to see the bigger pictures.
When it comes to the actors, it was a limited cast, which was refreshing. In today’s movies, it´s a recurring problem with unnecessary one-function characters. They do what they need to and then disappears. This film doesn´t do that here, it squeezes so much it can with the characters before letting them go. If the character needs to leave the story, then the movie uses it exists to help the main character further in its quest, like through murdering the secondary character. Thanks to the minimal cast, the relations felt realistic and dynamic. I really liked Johnny Depp in this role. He did a good job as the main character of the story with how he pulled off the quirky and misunderstood writer, who is in the middle of a challenge with emotional trauma.
The production overall was very standard, from the camera to its location. It has minimal locations and recycling props. That’s because the most important is the dialogue so the rest is secondary. The camera has the typical early 2000 look, which is okay and even makes the film feel more realistic with deposing of the modern slick look today movies have.
The only bad thing I could say about this movie is the complexity of the deeper plot. It makes you rethink, which it’s not to bad, but it’s complex.
Overall good and simple movie, I recommend it.
Richard Bengtsson | Journalist.