Monday, November 24, 2008


Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Emily Mortimer, Matthew Goode, Brian Cox

"Passion Temptation Obsession"

Star Movies

I've always been a fan of Woody Allen films. He has a way of presenting human relationships in its most vulnerable state through complex characters with varying degrees of personalities. They are also usually set in his native New York, a vibrant complex city inhabited by angst ridden people.

"Match Point" though is his first venture out of his comfort zone. This film is set in London and it focuses on the fanciful lifestyle of the British upper class. The story of how a wily tennis instructor (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) manages to entangle himself into this specific clique of society by marrying a girl of landed means. Thus he is able to elevate his status from a tennis instructor to working for his father in law's company. Everything is well set until he has an affair with Nola Rice (Scarlett Johannson) . A struggling American actress in London who seduces him into her snare. It is safe to say that demanding mistress eventually hounds philandering husband to leave his wife (Emily Mortimer) for her. Yet at the same time, it isn't as predictable as one expects from a movie about adultery because of a sudden twist towards the end. But then again, since when did Woody Allen movies have a predictable ending?

A good solid cast composed of mostly young British actors revves up the coherently developed plot line. It is further buoyed on by loud operatic arias for major dramatic effect. It was interesting to watch the evolution of Meyer's character as he dug his own grave, so to speak. Then with a stroke of good luck presented in a vital scene towards the end, he manages to exonerate himself brilliantly to carry on his cushy life.

I end by writing the quote which best describes this film or rather the main character in "Match Point":
"The man who said "I'd rather be lucky than good" saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck. It's scary to think so much is out of one's control. There are moments in a match when the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second, it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck, it goes forward, and you win. Or maybe it doesn't, and you lose. "

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