Now, I dont think I was treated to the full movie, but from what I can tell and was told, I got a good 80-90% of the final cut in my memory banks. The basic gist is Williams plays Sy, an older man who develops photos at a type of Drug Emporium/Wal Mart store. The first hour of the movie is dedicated to strong and heavy character development. We see Sy during his everyday routine, developing pictures from other peoples’ lives…..and well, enjoying it a little too much. Sy loves pictures. He sees developing them as an art, and he just happens to be Michalangelo. The entire first half of “One Hour Photo” is ALL Robin. We deal with Sy, and nothing else. (its not as bad as it sounds). In the movies second half, we see Sy’s dark side, as he very creepily becomes obsessed with a family that regularly brings their photos to him. He buys their child presents, makes a shrine for them…stuff like that. You really wont know whether to feel sorry for Sy, or call the cops on him.
The thing that amazed me was that “One Hour Photo” didn’t sell out. As Sy slowly gets creepier and creepier, I said to myself, here we go, he’s gonna pull out a fucking semi automatic and start spraying…..typical. But it didn’t. I was relived to see that the film never loses its artsy feel, yet still manages to give you goose-bumps through Robin Williams successful sinister turn, and a rather unsettling climax.
If this sounds boring, its really not. Some of the people I spoke to after the screening had a serious problem with the films pacing, as did others in the countless reviews I’ve already read regarding the film. The reason I didn’t really get all pissy was because this is a character driven movie. time must be spent with a character in order to pull that type of film off, and Williams does an excellent job carrying the weight. I’m not worried about pacing. That kind of problem can be fixed with a cutting room.
What I am worried about is what people will make of it. This is by far Robin Williams most successful acting turn, and unfortunately, this will not be a mainstream film. I don’t see it breaking box office records, or even getting a very wide release.
If anything though, its an interesting film to say the least. One that will surely make some hairs stand up, and leave you will that freaked out feeling as you leave the theater. So come on, don’t be a fleghm wad….pony up 8 bucks and take it for what it is……at least its not “Patch Adams.”
This is Curmudgeon. Joel Schumacher sucks.Rating: B