Mark Romanek is one of the most talented
writer/directors out there, and its amazing that I am
able to say this after only his first film. In his
debut effort, One Hour Photo, he is able to
create one of the most visually haunting movies of the
year. Offering just about everything a perfect flick
should, Romanek and his cast starring Robin Williams and
Connie Nielson lay a perfect foundation and execute this
wonderfully crafted tale, the film is a good candidate
for the best pick of the year.
The intelligent story stars an employee at the local
SavMart (similar to Target in the real world), Sy
Parrish (Robin Williams). Sy has been developing film at
the one hour photo counter for a long time running.
Though a friendly and helpful guy on the outside, Mr.
Parrish is as insane as one can get on the inside. Due
to his high level social absence, he is forced to
interact with people only through photos. He secretly
makes doubles of one families pictures, who have been
long-time customers of the SavMart. His entire apartment
wall is full of photos of the family, in which he has
pasted on. Sy is the Yorkins’ secret stalker.
Robin Williams created just about the most frightening
character of all time. By the end of the film you are
not only convinced that Sy Parrish is mentally insane,
but that he is a foul-brained psychotic. With
Insomnia and this under his belt, he has discovered
the one genre that fits him as an actor; his enormous
talent just works in this film. He is able to fully
encompass the mind of a man who is ten times that of
your normal crazy person. I smiled while watching him
light up the set, it’s an excellent feeling when you see
an actor just flat out nail a role.
In Roger Ebert’s review for the movie Signs
he quotes “Silence has never been so scary.” I think
that that quote adequately fits One Hour Photo
as well. When no one is speaking, and the room is blank,
your mind soars into a land of deep thought. What are my
feelings on this Sy Parrish? How do I feel about the
two-timing Yorkin husband? What do these people really
need and want? This flick made me think, not to say that
I was confused; but that the way the material is done
leaves you very observant.
found the original score used for the movie very
interesting. At the beginning of the film I felt like
taking off half of a bucket rating because of its
mismatching with the images on the screen, though it
grew on me when havoc began to take, and was ultimately
the right choice of usage. Its off-beat tempo worked to
make everything more chaotic, sending your brain through
a mindless tailspin that dramatically effects your
position on Parrish.
With elements that are terrifying, shocking, and even
almost heartfelt, One Hour Photo
succeeds in making a realistic and unique mystery.
Romaneck has a wonderful future ahead of him in the
movie business and his inspirational writing and
directing really pushed this one over the edge. Williams
yet again delivers a fascinating performance as the
emotionally-stirred “Sy the Photo Guy”. This is a movie
that is meant to be seen and has the best film of
two-thousand-and-two written all over it.
-Danny, Bucket Reviews