Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Other Man - Movie review

'The Other Man' is a movie that deals with a husband (Liam Neeson as Peter) who finds out that his wife (Laura Linney as Lisa) has had an affair during their 25 year marriage of which he knew nothing about. The Cambridge based couple, he a software engineer and she a shoe designer, are successful but do not seem to have too much time for each other. They have a daughter Abigail who is now moving in with her impoverished musician boy friend, George. Obviously Peter has certain inflexible ideas about life, about people which are not shared by his wife and daughter.

But Peter gets little clues of his wife's infidelity after her death and he tracks down the person to Milan, a place where she went often on her business. He finds the person Rafe (Antonio Banderas) and knows him well enough to play chess with him and for Rafe to tell him all about the most beautiful woman in the world and how much he loved her and how much she did. Peter keeps his anger under control and his vengeance and plays the lover by getting access to his wife's emails, her phone (daughter does that). Peter also discovers that Rafe is not the refined, cosmopolitan businessman as he projects himself, but a janitor with no money. Peter sets up Rafe through emails, funds his trip to a place where Rafe thinks Lisa is coming. There Peter breaks the truth about Lisa to Rafe who tells Peter how his own coldness drove Lisa to Rafe. Rafe is disgusted with Peter.

Peter does however go to a party thrown by Rafe in London in honour of Lisa. And one finds that perhaps Lisa has succeeded in changing her inflexible husband's views to life by leaking her secret to him after her death. Peter accepts people easier, Rafe and George for starters, as people and one can only guess that his life would have been a lot easier.

It is a nice, layered movie and one that I enjoyed thoroughly. Sensitive and subtly made with wonderful performances from all of the cast specially Neeson, Banderas, Linney and the daughter, Romola Garai. It would probably interest a mature audience and I suspect youngsters might lose the subtly made point of the wife's torment at seeing her beloved husband be in a self trapped prison and how she finds her escape, and how she plots his escape as well.

No comments: