A Perfect Murder (1998) Movie Review

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Title: A Perfect Murder
Year: 1998
Genre: Crime/Drama/Thriller
Play time: 1h 47min
Director: Andrew Davis
Screenwriters: Frederick Knott
Starring: Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, Viggo Mortensen

A Perfect Murder, the terrific new mystery from director Andrew Davis is indeed a remake of a Hitchcock movie by the same name. And while, regrettably, I haven’t seen the original, it couldn’t have been much better than this.

What the Plot About in A Perfect Murder?

Gwyneth Paltrow plays the incredibly wealthy wife of Steve (Michael Douglas), an incredibly wealthy business man. She is having an affair with an artist (or so we think) named David Shaw. But something is terribly wrong. Steve goes to see David, wants to look at his paintings, or so he says. The truth is — he wants David, his wife’s lover, to kill her.

A Perfect Murder is an Marvelous Film!

I want to preserve as many surprises as possible in this marvelous film, so I will not reveal any more plot points. Be assured however, that A Perfect Murder twists and turns as much as any film (except for perhaps The Game, David Fincher’s great thriller also starring Douglas) in recent years. And just as you think that the film has painted itself into a corner, it jumps right out at you with yet another plot twist.

But the best thing about this intriguing and involving exersise is how director Davis sets up an atmosphere, a mood. This is noticeable in many factors; he uses sweeping camera shots much more than cuts, both Paltrow and Douglas always wear black, the houses are in dark, bleak tones — everything is so effectively ominous and sinister. It is a pure pleasure to watch.

Michael Douglas Contribution in the film is Precious

Oh, and then there is Michael Douglas, whose contribution to the film is invaluable. He gives a dauntless performance, delivering his lines with emotion as well as restraint. He gives us such a wonderful villain, you might think that he is playing himself. Paltrow is good but not outstanding.

The Script is Great, And the Movie a Suspenseful Thriller that Grabs Viewer’s Attention

The script is very smart, with effecive use of phrase repetition. Many of the lines given to Douglas seem as if they are written just for him (“…this is all a con, and my wife is the grand prize…”).

This is a movie where nearly everything works. The result? An intriguing, suspenseful thriller that grabs you by the throat from the very beginning and doesn’t let go until the credits start to roll.

Going behind producers minds and intent. Resorting to harsh, grotesque, comically, sarcastic & sensible evaluation.

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