Monday, February 28, 2011
#70: Never Talk To Strangers
Antonio Banderas and Rebecca De Mornay star in this 1995 movie made by Peter Hall. Dr. Sarah(Rebecca) who deals with hardened criminals as a police psychiatrist runs into Tony (Antonio) at a mall who asks her out. Dr. Sarah takes time but does say yes to the persisting Tony who is portrayed as a smooth and suave worker who knows his red wine from white.
In a predictable turn of affairs, Tony's seductive wares become too strong for Sarah to resist and she gives in. Soon enough, she starts receiving threatening anonymous phone calls and letters and her pet cat is also murdered. The disturbing trend hits a peak when her own obituary is placed in a newspaper. The movie is about how Dr. Sarah comes to terms with this anonymous person who seems hell bent on throwing her life out of order.
It is a plot that has been done to death and only a brilliant climax could've saved the day for Never Talk to Strangers. As a viewer though, you knew it wasn't going to happen. And so the movie just about goes into the drain. Antonio has played a character like this in many movies before and while I knew little about Rebecca De Mornay before this, she is the only saving grace of the movie. Her fears are genuine and you do empathise with her harmless character who is being harrowed.
One could refer to Never Talk To Strangers as a bankrupt man's Roman Polanksi thriller. It's got all the elments there - anonymity, murder,femme fatale- but none so well-placed to thrill you. It is a movie so average, it could make average movies seem brilliant.