Directors: Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal
Stars: Bradley Cooper,Dennis Quaid & Jeremy Irons
Film #40 of The December Project
Did anyone see this film ? has anyone heard of this film ? does this film exist ? ... anyway, 'The Words' is a 2012 Independent film from Directors Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal making their feature film debut, the film chronicles the theme of plagiarism, the use of 'stolen' ideas and their long lasting effect.
Rory Jansen is a highly talented young writer who struggles to get his opportunity, due to the fact that his writings aren't marketable in this day and age. Rory marries his lovingly devoted girlfriend, the two honeymoon in Paris and in a thrift shop discover an old book folder, which they purchase. Inside that folder, Rory discovers some hidden pages which holds the most beautifully written tale his ever read. In a trance, Rory replicates the story word for word,he sells the book and becomes an icon in literary medium, hes dreams are seemingly fulfilled, until he meets an old man who knows more about the tale than even Rory does.
'The Words' is a very ambitious film, which is what I really respected about it. The film very focused on telling its story,which is a grand positive, but it is almost way to focused, its so determined to play it safe, that never completely branches out in order to create a more compelling film.The film lashes out into very long flashback sequences that continuously take place within and over each other (flashbackception!) they can sometimes become a little too tedious
I appreciated the way in which this film deals with the themes of plagiarism and choices, Through the Rory character we experience both as they are thoughtfully explored. We are able to bare witness to Rory's ethical decision of weather or weather not submit this piece of writing, its well executed as we the audience can identify with the character ask question if we could really do the same.
'The Words' is such an adequate title for this film, as they really do play a substantial part, not only from a plot perspective but through Klugman and Sternthal's screenplay, which is thoughtful in choosing correct pieces of dialogue which are elaborated on their the characters conversing. The script came off as very intelligent to me personally and also very universal, as if there is a little something everyone can relate to through it. Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal do an adequate job of direction in the first attempt, creating a rich yet desperate,deceitful and despair riddled environment. The films pacing leaves a lot to be desired though, as some of the flashback sequences run far too long, especially that depicting the old man's actual experiences. If some were trimmed just slightly, it would have made a world of difference.
The performances here were brilliant I thought. I have never really been sure of I how I felt about Bradley Cooper as an actor, I want to like him but I always remember 'The Hangover' films and go a little cold on him, but I though he was very good and conveyed his emotions, or lack thereof, brilliantly. Zoe Salanda is just utterly beautiful, and whenever she is on screen she brings that warm and loving presence. Dennis Quaid was surprisingly good aswell, though his scenes with Olivia Wilde are not. Jeremy Irons' steals the show though and displays yet again why he is such a natural performer, an excellent performance.
I was surprised by how much I actually liked 'The Words' because I was really not expecting too. Its quite an intelligent film that also packs an emotional punch and explores the theme of choices very well. Yes, its far from brilliant and there are a number of flaws, but with a good script and some terrific performances, you could do a lot worse.