SYNOPSIS: When disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel meets accused killer Christian Longo—who has taken on Finkel’s identity—his reporting job morphs into an unforgettable game of cat and mouse. Based on actual events, Finkel’s relentless pursuit of Longo’s true story encompasses murder, love, deceit, and redemption.
Christian Longo: Sometimes the truth isn't believable. But that doesn't mean that it's not true.
There are certain mysteries in the world and in one's life that mankind has always been trying to solve. Mankind has always been in search of the truth, at almost any cost, which can drive us mad. As the title suggests, this film is in search of the truth and how it pertains to two men and the people closest to them. Michael Finkel had a little mishap with an article he wrote for the New York Times. It was a field assignment in Africa and he was compelled to "adjust" his report a little bit. Christian Longo is accused of murdering his wife and children. Their paths cross thanks to Christian deciding to use the identity of one Michael Finkel. Huh? What? But why? Why Michael Finkel? Exactly! And thus starts the search.
So if you were to tell me that James Franco and Jonah Hill are in a movie together and it's not a comedy, I probably wouldn't believe you. And that is exactly the case with this film. Now let's get the first obvious question out of the way . . . yes, they actually did very well with their roles. This isn't the first serious role for either of them, so it's not like they are not capable. Not only are they capable, they are convincingly good. I would guess that the casting director might have gone through some internal conflicts with these choices, but I will tell you that they paid off. James Franco is the more impressive of the two simply because he is just so good at being creepy and mysterious. He charms you into becoming his friend to the point that you think you can trust him, but can you? Trust, such a powerful word that's only five letters long. Their relationship is based on so many questions, some answered and some left to ambiguity. The drama in this film is palpable. One of these two characters is artistic and is trying to paint a masterpiece, the other is a little obsessed with the whole situation and is trying to intrepret the art work. And let's not forget Felicity Jones in the role of Jill, Michael's squeeze. She's pulled into the roller coaster ride and she is not too thrilled about it. Felicity gives us some pretty good moments in the film that were stunning and caught me by surprise.
Overall this film is a good "whodunit" that doesn't get too gruesome. This is a good thing because I will tell you that even without the gore, this is one of the most gruesome crimes described on the big screen that I can recall. For some reason this film kept reminding me of Primal Fear (Richard Gere and a very young Edward Norton). The cinematography was well done, the dialogue was appropriate and clever at times, and the filming locations were also appropriate and well used. Oh and did I mention this is all based on a true story (no pun intended, or maybe it was). All in all, a very good job for Director Rupert Goold being his first major cinematic production.
By Cine Marcos
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