Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
Transsiberian is a hitchcockian type thriller that takes place on (what else?) the Transsiberian Train from China to Moscow. It deals with a couple who are having some problems and the strange people they encounter on their strained trip.
Is it good movie?
I really enjoyed this little movie, and I happen to think that good old-fashioned train movies are a little too far apart these days. The setting is claustrophobic and beautiful at the same time, a perfect place to show off a fractured relationship. This one deals with Roy and Jessie (Harrelson and Emily Mortimer), who are on their way back from a missionary mission (redundant, I know) and their dealings with a couple coming back from TESL in Japan. Soon, Roy and Jessie get caught smack dab in the middle of a possible drug trafficking scandal, where nothing is what it seems. My only real letdown with the movie is that it tends to lose a fair amount of steam during its finale. You sort of see where things are headed and everything feels sort of fabricated.
That's an extremely simple sort of rundown, I know. This movie relies on all of its twists and turns. It introduces several quirky or interesting characters who come in and out of the movie at different times. This coupled with the whole culture shock theory that applies to Jessie and Roy makes for a pretty tense movie.
Acting here is also great; this one has a really good cast, with special mentions going to Emily Mortimer and Ben Kingsley. Harrelson is great too, especially in his scenes with Kingsley.
Although this movie does tend to be a bit predictable, that doesn't mean it isn't drenched in despair and foreboding. The cast is game, the setting is right and the direction is sharp.
Video / Audio
Transsiberian is a great movie that has seemingly been overlooked by nearly every audience. It’s true that some moments may feel fabricated and that some character decisions may be a little backwards, but I was very entertained by this one. If you like your movies full of atmosphere and great acting, take a ride on this train.