Writer Paul Sheldon does not remember the heavy snowfall that caused him to crash in his car somewhere in the mountains. He also does not remember how a woman found him and saved him from certain death.
All he remembers is how he woke up in the house of Annie Wilks – an ardent fan of his novels who does not want to part with her beloved author …
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I don’t remember how I got here …
A quiet but storm-prone September evening, I just finished reviewing Brazil. The mood is good, ahead is the road home from the country cottage …
Large drops of rain on the windshield, terribly slippery and for some reason a slow turn … uncomfortable cab of an overturned car …
Chilly immobility … someone’s tenacious hands … oblivion …
Then a continuous obsession, an absurd hoax, an interweaving of reality and illusory, already somewhere and once seen images. But the facts are obvious: I am quite strong after the car accident I have experienced, I am locked up in an unfamiliar place; my savior, and she is the jailer, is the mistress of the house, Ellis. We have an agreement: I have to write a prosaic review of the movie Misery, and if the text follows the canons and Ellis likes it, then freedom awaits me. Otherwise … She does not say otherwise, but I am terribly afraid of this alternative …
So, I’ll start. From the classics – his synopsis. Then the introductory part, which can be safely combined with a story about the creators. Then it will be time for the author’s assessment of the film. And finally – a summary, general words, main accents.
The owner of the popular among the writers’ surname Paul Sheldon, the author of the Misery novels, is captured by a fanatical admirer, who, upon learning that her accidental patient in her last book “kills” the title character, is filled with a desire to correct such a “terrible mistake.” Paul must write a new book, where Misery is alive and well, where everything is the same, and then he will have hope of salvation. We must try hard, because Annie Wilkes is one of those fans whose love is pathological and very dangerous for the object of adoration.
No matter what the Great and the Terrible himself says, the best filmmakers of his books are Messrs. Darabont (Mile, Shawshank, Haze) and Rainer (Stay with Me, Misery). King of the book and King of the screen often with the same names of novels and films are different in meaning and content. So knowledgeable people say about Misery, they say, the novel is much deeper, and the hero’s experiences are described there much more vividly. But transferring Stephen King’s fantasies from paper to celluloid is a simple and difficult task at the same time. Yes, the basis is certainly a strong book by a master of horror and psychological dramas, and it seemed, go ahead, film it page by page – there will be happiness, but the concept of cinematography has not yet been canceled, and therefore getting a strong film out of an interesting novel is still a science. And when it comes to the works of King, you cannot do without qualified help.
“Too much wikipedia” – said Ellis, who came to check my progress. I’ll have to cross it out … I won’t wish anyone what she promised to do to me if such an oversight repeats …
She left. I will continue …
When one of the most American directors in Hollywood, Rob Reiner, filmed the icon of modern American literature Stephen King, truly American actors Katie Bates and James Caan play in this film, and the plot takes the plot into the American hinterland to shivering in the knees, it seems that for the Russian, and even for a viewer who has not read the original novel, acquaintance with such a movie cannot become a big event. Perhaps this is so, but broad-minded cinephiles will see here not so much a pile of directorial methods, techniques, and acting that are characteristic of American film culture, as an extremely sharp and tense film, a thriller of the highest standard. And besides, there is an opinion that reading a book before viewing can only spoil the impression.
Here the infernal Katie “bring the Oscar” Bates does something unimaginable. Playing along with her, half of the film pressing his head into the pillow with fear, Kaan is damn good. You are somehow not afraid of the first one too much in a cinematic way, you empathize with the second. The brightest duel of actors and extraordinary characters of their characters.
In the title of the film, and no special ingenuity is needed, there is a kind of word game. The name of the heroine of Paul Sheldon’s novels is Misery, but this is also the English misery. A well-known literary device that focuses on King’s favorite theme – novels about novelists. Nesting is akin to films about making films. It’s no secret that King often projects his own phobias and nightmares onto the heroes of his books, thus getting rid of complexes and experiences. Here is “Misery” about the same: creative dependence, impossibility of genre experiments, crazy fans provide this dependence and impossibility. Stephen King’s real nightmare! And at the same time, a psychological thriller that excites the entire gamut of viewers’ receptors, an impressive psychological thriller from the first scenes to the final chord!
Outside the door, the rustle of Ellis’s dress, her quick steps. In a few minutes she will read what I have written. And then – freedom or … something joyless. I hope for the best: this is just a standard film review, as she requested. Isn’t it true?
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (100 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 2.0