Craig reviewed the latest Roman Polanski film here upon its release in the cinemas, and irritatingly mirrored a lot of my opinions on the film and wrote them up in a far more eloquent way than I could, so I’d head on over for Craig’s review and I’ll give my impressions on The Ghost below.
Ewan McGregor is hired to ghostwrite the memoirs of a disgraced former UK Prime Minister days after the previous incumbent is found washed up on the dirty grey shoreline of the US compound where the ex-PM is holed up. Needless to say there’s a deeper mystery here, and Polanski’s considerable skill brings a fresh spin on an old tale.
Divorcing the film’s themes of exile, legacy and corrupt political collusion from their real world counterparts leaves us with a taut thriller thrown against a political backdrop which falls away quickly to become one man’s reluctant descent into a pit of conspiracy. While it isn’t hard to see where the film is leading us every step of the journey is well chosen and though I would have liked to have seen the political fallout of Brosnan’s PM play a wider part in the unfolding events there’s still a lot to enjoy.
There are some masterful moves here from Polanski, one in particular involving a piece of paper, and while it doesn’t keep on surprising you it is a very tightly plotted thriller, with some exceptional performances. McGregor doesn’t look like he’s about to turn to the camera and wink, something he’s often accused of being on the verge of in other films, and I found Brosnan’s portrayal of the frustrated, bumptious ex-Prime Minister compelling, with only shades of Blair present, but it is Olivia Williams who steals this film as Brosnan’s wife.
I took issue with the very end of the film, which appears to confuse the points made by Polanski as opposed to adding one final spin, but the sheer relief in seeing a well written and tense political thriller was palpable.
The DVD, out today, is recommended.
DVD Special Features:
- Making Of
- TV Spots
- Music Video