Tuesday, November 13, 2012

#820. One Hour Photo (2002)

Directed By: Mark Romanek

Starring: Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan

Tag line: "There's nothing more dangerous than a familiar face"

Trivia:  Trent Reznor, of the band Nine Inch Nails, composed an original score for the film, but director Romanek opted not to use it

Director Mark Romanek’s One Hour Photo is a thriller that draws you in with its story of a seemingly simple man and the dark, disturbing secret he’s trying to hide.

Sy Parrish (Robin Williams) works at a local discount store, developing pictures for the one-hour photo booth. A dedicated employee, Sy is also a loner, with no family or friends to speak of. So, to fill the void in his life, he becomes fixated on the family of one of his regular customers, a housewife named Nina Yorkin (Connie Nielson), who lives in a nice suburban neighborhood with her husband, Will (Michael Vartan) and son Jakob (Dylan Smith). Sy’s fascination with the Yorkins is all-consuming, and has grown to the point that he runs off extra prints of their pictures for himself. This raises the suspicions of his boss (Gary Cole), who’s noticed that a large number of the photos Sy is processing aren’t being accounted for. Sy’s world is further turned upside-down with the discovery that Will Yorkin is having an extramarital affair. His dream of a perfect life shattered, Sy takes matters into his own hands, and sets out to “punish” Will for his indiscretions.

The manic comedian who made us laugh in such films as Club Paradise, The Best of Times and Good Morning, Vietnam is nowhere to be found in One Hour Photo. In his place is a shy, deeply wounded shell of a man who, in his quest for love, has resorted to stalking his customers. Williams is superb in the role of Sy, causing us to shudder in fear at the depths to which his character sinks, yet all the while stirring our sympathies for what is clearly a lonely, confused individual who wants only to belong. Williams manages to manipulate the audience’s emotions throughout One Hour Photo, shifting them back and forth between horror and pity in an almost seemless manner, all leading up to a final scene that’s as revealing as it is bleak.

With its twisted tale of a man and his out-of-control obsession, One Hour Photo will definitely have you thinking twice the next time you drop your film off to be developed!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post! I thought Williams was great in this movie and definitely made the material better because of him. I would have really liked to hear Reznor's score for this and it's a shame that Romanek didn't decide to use it.