Duplicity Doubles Star Power but Sparks Don't Ignite
- Friday, March 20, 2009
The film's visual energy is thanks in large part to the cinematography of Robert Elswit, who brilliantly filmed two 2007 releases: Michael Clayton and There Will Be Blood. Gilroy jazzes up the story with split-screen imagery, which, along with James Newton Howard's score, give the film a cool, retro edge that's reminiscent of Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven.
Morally, the film's central relationship shows some growth, beginning with a one-night stand built around professional one-upmanship but building toward the possibility of long-term commitment. Unfortunately, greed, not love, is a primary motivator in the equation, as the couple aims for a very comfortable nest egg from which to build their business and life together.
The current anti-corporate climate might make it easier for some to overlook the film's less laudable elements, but the multiple plot machinations pile up so high that it's difficult to keep up, or to care. The film's ending is less a surprise than a relief, a stopping point more than a resolution.
Duplicity is a cinematic lark, and not one of the more memorable ones. But even larks have moral lessons. If it's godliness you seek, you won't find much of it on display in Duplicity. However, the film is not without biblical application. In this case, Proverbs provides guidance: "Trust in your money and down you go!" (Proverbs 11:28)
Readers are advised to save their money on this film, or, if they feel compelled, to limit their outlay to matinee prices.
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- Drugs/Alcohol: Discussion of being drunk; a woman pours champagne down a sink.
- Language/Profanity: Lord's name taken in vain; lots of sexual banter; anatomical references; some foul language.
- Sex/Nudity: Cleavage; a man sleeps in bed as a woman gets dressed; discussion of memories of sleeping together; images of a couple kissing and caressing in bed; a woman jumps out of bed and dresses, but the nudity is fleeting; a man is wrapped in a towel; photos of a man engaged in sex with a woman.
- Violence: Two corporate leaders come to blows.
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