Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Passenger

Since I don't go to work on Wednesdays, and Ian has the fortnight off (did I mention that already?) we had the novel opportunity to go a movie together at 10.45am on a weekday. This meant we got to hold hands in posh leather seats at the Embassy at a time of day when I normally be wondering if there was time to fit in coffee between patients, but it was a pity that this wasn't a better film.

The Passenger was made in 1975 and (to quote the film festival programme) "mysteriously withheld from circulation by its owner and star Jack Nicholson." I think he withheld it from circulation because it isn't very riveting. It's a thriller about a reporter who swaps identities with an arms dealer he meets in Africa who dies suddenly, and so for the purposes of the story the Jack Nicholson character has faked his own death. There's great potentential for this film to explore the ins and out of pretending to be dead and pretending to be an arms dealer, all of which could be tricky and dangerous. It fails to do either of these things and meanders along plotlessly, apart from the main character meeting up with a beautiful teenager played by Maria Schneider, (every man's wet dream, Ian said helpfully ["going on a road trip with a sexually available beautiful teenager is a middle aged man's wet dream" is what I actually said]) who he takes along for the ride as he trips around Europe. Meantime his wife gets suspicious and attempts to track him down, which again provided a good opportunity for drama which the film failed to exploit

The redeeming features are the beautiful scenery (the Sahara, and parts of Spain) and the beautiful people - Jack Nicholson was pretty sexy and so was his co-star. They weren't enough to keep me gripped for 125 minutes, though.

Anne's rating: 2/5, Ian's rating: 2/5

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