Strangely enough Roman Polanski’s new thriller is partly about a man who must leave his country in order to escape the law. The film stars Ewan McGregor as a ghost writer hired to pen the memoirs of a powerful politician (Pierce Brosnan) after the previous writer was found dead under suspicious circumstances. A mystery soon begins to unfold and McGregor quickly realizes he’s in over his head.
As is the case with great directors, their new films are sometimes unfortunately and unfairly compared to their best works. The Ghost Writer is no Chinatown or Rosemary’s Baby, but it’s still a wonderful film that has been receiving unfair criticism due to these comparisons (though it’s still gotten good reviews overall).
Despite the film having very little action, Polanski is able to fill even the most seemingly mundane scenes with tension. There are no fast cuts, “gotchya!” moments, or any other kind of cheap trick. He’s a director in complete control and I became completely immersed in the story. Definitely one of the better mystery/thrillers I’ve seen in a while, so don’t let the controversy surrounding Polanski stop you from seeing a great film. Also (one last thought), the score by Alexandre Desplat is flat-out perfect. He can do no wrong.