I’ve been neglecting this blog, I know, but I’m back with a new routine and a vengeance. This time around, I’ve got a bit of a change for your reading pleasure. Instead of a horror movie review, I have a bit of a thriller review.
Title: A Kind of Murder
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel
Based on Patricia Highsmith’s book, The Blunderer
Summary, from IMDB:
In 1960s New York, Walter Stackhouse is a successful architect married to the beautiful Clara who leads a seemingly perfect life. But his fascination with an unsolved murder leads him into a spiral of chaos as he is forced to play cat-and-mouse with a clever killer and an overambitious detective, while at the same time lusting after another woman.
Now, an admission: there are two reasons why I chose this movie. First of all, the filmed is based on a book by Patricia Highsmith, author of The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train. The second reason is Patrick Wilson, who is kind of adorable, in a calmly pleasant kind of way.
The film itself is a period piece, which takes place in the early sixties. As a fan of Mad Men, I love the clothes, the cars and the absolute devotion to smoking these “Old” movies have. Men wore hats, women wore crinoline and the cars were simply awesome.
As much as I have love for Highsmith, Wilson and the early sixties, I had a lot of trouble with this movie. It was beautiful to look at: winter, dark brooding scenes and it even had a smoky, bohemian bar with a torch singer. I liked watching it, but at the end, I felt like I had learned nothing and had merely spent my time leafing through a 1962 Life magazine.
The buildup was everything. A depressed wife, a frustrated husband in a gorgeously designed house (very sixties) and a mysterious murder that the husband (a writer when he’s not being an architect) becomes obsessed with. There’s even a rare bookstore with a mousy, kind of weird owner.
Another thing that I liked about the movie was that it was pulpy. It put me in mind of Double Indemnity. Very “noir-ish” and rather unsettling in parts.
As you can tell, I’m writing a lot about what I saw and not a lot about what I felt. The story rolled along nicely, but, as I hinted at above, never really came to a solid conclusion. People died, people were injured, but…..yeah, okay. The movie was kind of “meh”. I’d watch it again, however, simply to catch set and costume details that I might have missed the first time around. The story left a lot to be desired.
Do I recommend it? If you’re a fan of period pieces and Patricia Highsmith, this would be for you.
3 out of 5 stars just for good looks.