While the film doesn’t entirely succeed, it’s from no fault of the cast – Neeson manages to eke out a nuanced role, and Amanda Seyfried manages to stay toe-to-toe with the always superb Julianne Moore (or, as the no doubt “titillating” draw of the film would have it, boob-to-bob). Alas, while a very sensual film, well shot with a certain amount of erotic creepiness, the story simply falls flat. Relying on a twist that’s telegraphed from the opening voiceover, the story simply fails to shock in ways that it’s clearly meant to. Concentrating simply on the characters, rather than the contrived narrative, may have made for a more interesting story.
As it stands, the film relies upon the hard-to-swallow thought that Neeson’s reaction to hearing that his beautiful wife has had an affair with an equally beautiful young woman would be anything less than, “Great! Can I join in, please?”, given the proclivities he has demonstrated throughout the film to that point.
Crude, perhaps, but this type of subversion of typical cuckolding simply doesn’t not hold the same societal narrative weight that the same tale told from the opposite gender perspective would contain. It may be unfair to lump our gender specific views of infidelity onto this film, but as it stands it simply strains credulity, given the world of this film, and with the added altercations that ensue the pieces simply don’t fit together. Worth seeing, perhaps, for the steamy performances, but hardly the comeback to form that I was hoping from our dear, local auteur.