a critiQal film review The Truth About Charlie (2002)

  • DVD
  • Vudu

Plot: Regina Lambert (Newton) returns from Martinique to find out her husband, Charlie, has been murdered. Shocked and disoriented, she meets Joshua Peters (Wahlberg), who tries to comfort her, as well as three thugs and a government official, Mr. Bartholomew (Robbins), all who begin to unravel strange tales about her husband...and the six million dollars he stole.

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  • ...Thandie Newton helps make this quirky remake enjoyable.

So, this is an interesting twist. Jonathan Demme, the director of The Silence of the Lambs (1991), brings out a new film, The Truth About Charlie (a remake of Charade), right around the same time that Red Dragon (2002) (a remake of Manhunter), the beginning of The Silence of the Lambs (1991) trilogy, is doing well in the box office. I’m not sure who won the battle, but it seems a bit ironic, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I’d seen the preview for this film, and was expecting a tense suspense thriller. From the beginning, I could tell, just from the music, that this was not going to be that type of film. Ever seen the film Snatch? This falls more along those lines…and boy, was I happy for that!

The characters were all very well played. Considering the amount of deception involved in the film, it was great to see the actors able to keep up. Thandie Newton, especially, played her part very well, and definitely helped to keep the viewer’s interest throughout the film.

Mark Wahlberg, never high on the roster of great actors (c’mon, what was the deal over Boogie Nights? That sucked!). performs well here, and he seems to definitely be getting better as he goes.

Tim Robbins has the perfect attitude to play the government agent Mr. Bartholomew, since he never seems to feel comfortable unless he’s in a suit (don’t ask me why). Good performances were also turned in by all of the supporting actors as well, making the movie so much more well-rounded. Definitely good casting choices, all around.

The plot, starting off simple, quickly ballooned in complicity. Each scene was used to the utmost to weave more of a tangled web, while still saying enough to keep the viewer from getting lost, which would have been very easy to do if the director hadn’t paid close attention to every detail. The camerawork was a refreshing change from the typical, and worked extremely well. It was one of the best put together movies I’ve seen since The Game (1997).

All in all, The Truth About Charlie is a fun, quirky movie with a great cast and an excellent plot. It’s definitely worth renting, and I know I’m going to add it to my DVD collection soon.

And, as a bonus, it pays homage to the original film, Charade, by adding it, in it’s entirety, to the DVD!

The Truth About Charlie is…you’ll like it.

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