Monday, June 26, 2006

Separate Lies: Grade C


Separate Lies

Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Rupert Everett

Basically a glorified soap opera, the story is about a woman, her husband and her lover involved in covering up a hit and run accident she caused. The plot has a few unexpected twists and an overall Hitchcockian cleverness about it, but it goes on too long. There is a dramatic and effective denoument where it should have ended, but then a surprising voice-over narrative kicks in and extends the story another 20 minutes or so, robbing it of its dramatic effectiveness. That is inexplicable. The acting is strong, especially by Watson and Wilkinson, although their relationship stretches credulity because of the age difference. Everett does a wonderful villain. The story, set in London and the countryside nearby, has a stagey, Agatha-Christie claustrophobia because we can’t really see the context of these people’s lives. Sets and scenery are good. The camera does a lot of television-like swooping and circling, which detracts from the performances. Watchable for the acting, but nothing special.

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