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- Sean Connery as William Forrester in "Finding Forrester"

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Film Review: Derailed

Derailed, starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston, is a worthy thriller.

After a chance meeting on the morning commute into downtown Chicago, Charles Schine (Owen) and Lucinda Harris (Aniston) begin a series of rendez-vous that ultimately leads to a night in an out of the way hotel. Their tryst is interrupted when a man barges in and demands their money. But it doesn't end there. The man continues to torment and blackmail Charles until he agrees to pay him $100K. Threatening the safety of his wife and ill daughter adds to the desperation of Schine's situation leading him to take risks that he would never imagine before.

Derailed takes standard film themes - adultery, coercion, money, betrayal - and puts an interesting spin on them. For me, the twist in the film was somewhat anticlimactic, if only because the suspicions I had from the first time I saw the trailer were proven correct. However, that's not to say the movie is predictable. Being the movie nerd that I am, always expecting the unexpected, I looked at the different scenarios that could potentially play out and I picked the one that I felt would be the most interesting to pursue given how other movies have turned out.

I'm not sure I'd go so far as to rank this film with the likes of Fatal Attraction, Disclosure, or Unfaithful, but it is certainly worth watching. I was not disappointed by the script, the story, or the performances of the cast. While it may appear to be a standard thriller, with the standard depth one would expect from such a film, I was relieved that Derailed took the story to that next level to keep your interest in a way that served the story. Definitely a good flick.