Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sliding Doors (1998): review: 3.5/10

In London, a PR officer returns home early having been sacked for stealing vodka: the film then diverges into two parallel tales. In one she returns home to discover her partner, an aspiring writer, in bed with his ex, a bossy American woman; in the second, due to an accident, she comes home minutes later after the American has left, thus living a life of ignorance and misery as her partner continues his affair.

The film loses momentum after the first 30 minutes, becoming doleful, the comparasion of her alternate possible fortunes is less inspring than it might be. In the former, the heroine meets a flirtatious, gummy Scotsman who considers himself a great wit, but who, in truth, is a twerp and an obsequious bore. In the second, she continues to live unhappily with her boyfriend who has an unfortunate haircut.

The villain of the piece, the scribbler boyfriend, whose pusillanimity is the cause of our heroine's misery, is potentially the most amusing character in the film. She is a thick spinless drip who has little really to delight so it is a pity that his wickedness could not be more more exuberant, as this might have animated the film more: bad always so much more cinematic than good.

It's quite pleasurable seeing bits of London, though the film does little truly to exploit location, apart from some bridge and river shots. To me, London is a furtive city of crooked streets and secretive corners and the filmakers surely could have used this far more as metaphor for maritial deceit.

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