by Jess Hagy
Plot: 1950s West End, London. Plans for the movie version of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap come to a halt after a member of the film is murdered. Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) are assigned the case and thus thrown into a twisty whodunit set in the world of the theatre underground where everyone has secrets and everyone has a motive.
Direction: The direction here from Tom George is pretty solid. It fit the tone of the genre very well and gave nods to Wes Anderson. I’m interested to see what he can do in the future, with this being, I believe, his first feature film.
Screenplay: The screenplay was a tad lacking. I was wishing it was funnier than what it was. It didn’t quite match the level of quirkiness that the direction had. That being said, it ticked all the boxes that a whodunit needs.
Performances: This was an amazing ensemble. Sam Rockwell is in his element here playing the charming drunk. He and Saoirse Ronan work very well off each other. I am also enjoying this renaissance of Adrien Brody we have been getting in the past few years. He continues to show up randomly in films and is consistently good. One performance that caught my eye was that of Harris Dickinson. Whenever he was on camera, he drew the attention and didn’t play into trope in an expected way.
Cinematography: Much like the direction, it was very Wes Anderson-esque. I enjoyed the uses of split screen to show different points of view.
Best Moment: The dream sequence. No, I’m not joking. Without any spoilers, there is a dream sequence that I just found very funny.
Imaginary Accolade: Best film based on an actual play that can’t legally be turned into a film, so they made a film about a film adaptation of said play that can’t be made yet
Is it too long? Nope! It’s a swift 98 minutes which was the perfect length. Didn’t feel rushed and didn’t drag.
See it in cinemas or wait to stream: I’d say wait to stream. Especially since my experience watching it in theatres including a group of preteens who were taking flash photos and facetiming people throughout the whole thing. And who were clearly there because they were too young to get into the showing of Don’t Worry Darling.
Rating: 2.5 poison-filled tea cups out of 5
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