Film review by Tim Lince Obsessed – Cert 12A Starring Beyonce Knowles, Ali Larter and Idris Elba. Directed by Steve Shill. In cinemas from May 29. Thoughts Before I normally like to write my thoughts before a movie but sadly I know basically nothing
Film review by Tim Lince
Obsessed - Cert 12A
Starring Beyonce Knowles, Ali Larter and Idris Elba. Directed by Steve Shill. In cinemas from May 29.
I normally like to write my thoughts before a movie but sadly I know basically nothing about this release.
After reading some brief information about the cast, however, I'll write some quick comments...
This seems to be the first feature film from renowned television director Steve Shill, who has been involved with numerous episodes of Dexter, The Wire and also one of the most acclaimed episodes of The West Wing back in 2006.
This sounds like a promising resume, and seemingly thanks to that he has attracted a cast that includes pop star Beyonce Knowles and Heroes actress Ali Larter. The audience pull of the superstar musician raked in half decent box office takings in North America and it could do the same here - I just fear it's going to be a glorified advert for her, long shots at her radiating beauty and throwing the script right out the window.
This could be true as the story seems like it's been done a thousand times before; involving a dashing guy, a weird co-worker who is obsessed by him (that's where the title is from!) and a marriage suddenly in jeopardy.
If you think the story seems stale then take a look at the tagline:
'All's fair when love is war.'
That has to take the biscuit as the most generic poster lines ever. Even with a talented television director at the helm this has the potential to be instantly forgettable for anyone who isn't a huge fan of Beyonce or Destiny's Child.
And I'll throw it out there - I'm not.
Wow, that was equally what I was expecting and also completely different.
The plot revolved around likeable Derek (a light-hearted performance by Idris Elba) whose perfect marriage, quaint new house, adorable new child and successful career are all blossoming. That is until he starts a new day in the elevator alone with Lisa (crazy psycho mode played to perfection by Ali Larter), who almost immediately takes a liking to him.
And so begins a crescendo of creepy and horribly unrealistic encounters; leading not only to Derek's lovely wife Sharon (Beyonce Knowles, basically playing herself) suspecting him of illicit funny business but also the viewer cringing at odd decisions taken by him that could have sorted out the mess from the very beginning.
This is why I was a little surprised however at how oddly fun I was finding this all. It was filmed in such a camp and ridiculous fashion that I couldn't help but laugh at all the characters trapped in this cage of madness.
Without giving much away (not that you couldn't guess from the outset) but there is a confrontation at the end. The lead up to this is quite hilarious in its stupidity and then the actual climax - brilliant!
Not 'brilliant' in the sense that it was good film-making in any sense of the word, oh no. Brilliant in that it I was entertained by just how absolutely crazy everyone was acting.
Just when you think the confrontation reaches a point where the police will sort everything out it continues.
The very end of it all plays out in a so-bad-and-cringworthy-it's-brilliant three parts, where not only did it lose all dramatic effect because of how it was done but the viewer is left wondering about a lot of the decisions that had just played out. It felt a little like one of those 'choose your own adventure' books you get, except instead of taking the sensible option you keep taking the daft one to see what happens.
Of course with Beyonce Knowles appearing the audience is treated to some recent (and out-of-place) pop tunes to keep them happy. The rest of the audio seemed to be a repeated 'creepy' song that was on loop every time Lisa appeared on screen.
If you go to the cinema expecting a deep psychological creep-fest then, well, you'll probably walk out half an hour in. If, however, you go in knowing it's going to be a strangely entertaining and ridiculous flick that breaks no new boundaries (and contains the best and worst ending of a movie I've seen in a long time) then you'll find something to like about it.