Let's Talk Films!

The Ghost Writer

Posted on: February 9, 2011

Me: “Have you seen Ghostwriter?”

Friend: “Ghost Rider? Yes I have”

Me: “WRITER! Wriiittterrrr!”

Friend: “…”

Well my friend’s response isn’t really that important. The reason I mention this inane conversation is to emphasize that this movie is completely different from that silly Nicolas Cage movie with a devil’s skull and a burning bike 😛

Oh and of course, its not a horror movie either. To typecast it into a genre, I would say it is a political thriller. And an edgy, intense one at that…

Ewan McGregor plays the character of a nameless ghostwriter, who is employed by Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), a former British Prime Minister to write his memoirs, as the previous ghostwriter commits suicide. Throughout the movie, the scriptwriter has successfully managed to evade the need to name the ghostwriter. Perhaps this was to use irony, as in real life too, ghostwriters are never named with respect to any of their works.

The main protagonist flies down to Lang’s residence on a secluded island to start re-working the memoirs written by his predecessor.  Around the same time, the International Criminal Court accuses Lang of sending suspected terrorists to CIA for torture. Just as the ghostwriter is wondering what he got himself into, he starts finding evidence that his predecessor might have been murdered.

Although the plot sounds like a typical thriller novel, I would give full marks to the movie for its execution. The suspense has been handled well and the twist at the end left me shocked. More than anything else though, as an aspiring journalist, I pretty much fell in love with the protagonist.

He shows a spark of excitement when he comes across something personal about Lang that he can use. The rest of the time though, he is pretty much deadpan and cynical. Even his ingenuity in finding the truth related to his predecessor’s death and about Lang was inspiring.

A well-paced, suspense thriller, that is sure to keep you at the edge of your seat till the very end. Watch this one.

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2 Responses to "The Ghost Writer"

I thought the movie was okay. The ending made a statement.

This was the worst Polanski film I have ever seen. The pacing was awful. It should unequivocally not be referred to as a “thriller”. If I had been blogging at the time it was released I would have panned it. I know that it was trying to make a statement, but it seemed to me that the subject matter ended up being too cumbersome for the film-makers to handle. The film was overwrought and ended up sagging very badly. Although I did enjoy Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan’s performances in the film, that doesn’t redeem it for me. When I reflect on “The Ghost”, as it was titled in the UK, I compare it to the “The Pianist”, “MacBeth” and “Chinatown” and wonder what Roman was thinking.

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