Where The Truth Lies (Unrated)
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A comedy duo at the top of their game find themselves embroiled in a murder when a young woman is found dead in their hotel room. The effect on their partnership and fame is devastating and years later, an inquisitive female journalist decides to find out what really happened once and for all.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Canadian Director Atom Egoyan has always been an acquired taste. His films are strong and lavish, with deep reflection, and are never afraid to take their time. As a result, his style doesnít always mesh with the stories he tells. Sometimes itís dead on, as in his masterpiece THE ADJUSTER (which is in my top ten favorite films of all time), where his slow and methodic delivery fits the material like a glove. Other times, like in the disappointing film EXOTICA, there is a horrible mismatch and goes to shows that certain material in the wrong hands can have the opposite effect. WHERE THE TRUTH LIES is a mixed bag; itís the most mainstream film by Egoyan to date, but itís also the most uneven. Egoyan has done something here I never thought possible Ė he takes a rather normal approach to the film at times. This from a director who definitely prides himself on quiet, stolen moments of love and aguish. (And not always in that order!) Not to say that his signature is not here as well, there are still disturbing connections between characters, a dark and dreary mood, and his unique storytelling. But in this film, I sometimes forgot I was watching an Egoyan film and it was strange. (Which is saying a lot!) The first part of them film sets up the story nicely, but then ultimately veers into a very long and boring middle section and by the end, I found myself thoroughly fascinated again. A lot of his films are the same way - they always have something important to say, but seem to have a hard time getting there. And for those who are out for the sheer nudity and sex, there are some scenes (including gratuitous sex scenes and one lesbian encounter) that raise an eye, but to me felt a little forced, and besides, Egoyan has always had a knack for making the audience feel both guilty and dirty for having watched and enjoyed such scenes. (Aka if you need a T & A fix, just rent some good porn!)
The performances are good, but pale in comparison to the rather stunning look of the picture. The costumes, the sets, and the overall cloudy look to the film leave a lasting impression. I donít think Iíve ever seen Egoyanís work look so pristine and itís quite remarkable. Hats off to both Egoyan and Director of Photography Paul Sarossy, this is one great looking film. Itís strange, I sometimes feel funny about not completely liking films like this, especially when they are so wholly original. But in the end, theyíre subject to the same standards as every other film. A memorable film knows how to blend a compelling story with great visuals and (for the real auteur) throws in a little nuance for good measure. (And never have more then one voice over Ė try none if possible!) So while Egoyan does show moments of brilliance here, there are also some that fall flat and somewhere in between is where the real truth lies.
Like a lot of Egoyanís other films, this one is slim pickens for extras. (How about an ADJUSTER commentary Atom!?)
The Making Of Where The Truth Lies (5:42): This is a true behind the scenes, with no narrator or interviews, just as if you were a fly on the wall. The only problem is that no spoken word is very audible and mostly muffled, so itís impossible to hear anyone speaking. Which is a shame because it would be great to get an inside look at Egoyanís process - what a disappointment. This one is a big mouth with nothing coming out of it.
The Father Theme (2:28): Here are some extra bits involving the father (who is only mentioned in the film) and his trusty tape recorder. Hard to say if it should be gotten rid of, when there are so many scenes in the actual film just like it. You be the judge on this one!
Various Deleted Scenes (7:59): Again, more bits and pieces that all move the plot forward. You know, a commentary from Egoyan explaining why he took out these scenes would have helped a lot.
Plus there is a Previews Section with the trailers for THE DYING GAUL, THE WARRIOR, THE TENANTS, LONDON, CHASING GHOSTS, END GAME and MEMORY OF A KILLER.
While strange and original work should be hailed no matter what form itís in, itís hard to lobby after a film that feels like a metaphoric roller coaster. There are loops and turns that are thrilling, like a lavish cinematic look and a wonderful finish, but in between are boring moments of just waiting for the next high, where the track is just flat. Atom Egoyan is a filmmaker that, when he has the right material, can convey such an impact on the viewer that it can virtually leave the audience breathless. (See THE ADJUSTER!) WHERE THE TRUTH LIES is a ride that has its ups and downs and by the middle, may having you swearing off dangerous thrills forever. But its finish is so sweet that, just like the best roller coasters in the world, you may find yourself back in line to ride once again.