The Words (2012)
Directors: Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal
Writers: Brian Klugman (screenplay), Lee Sternthal (screenplay)
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Dennis Quaid, Zoe Saldana and Olivia Wilde
There are moments when a movie trailer can win me over enough to send me to the cinemas. The Words wasn’t even on my radar and I’m usually not a huge fan of Bradley Cooper or Dennis Quaid. It was the story that was told in the trailer that caught my attention. (Watch it here)
The story of a stolen novel and a stolen life. The composition of the film is beautiful and tragic. You know from the moment the film begins that it won’t have a wonderful and happy ending but neither do you know what will inevitably become of the young man who dreams of being something more than what he is. This isn’t a fast moving, action packed film, nor is it an utterly tragic drama, and yet it left me with a feeling that I cannot fully explain. I left the cinema with a heaviness and depth of pity and sadness for the men in the film that I haven’t felt before, which makes me ask the question: why?
It wasn’t the most amazing film I’ve ever seen, it wasn’t even hitting in my top twenty or fifty necessarily. However, it was able to convey something that I hadn’t experienced before. The darkness of fame, the twisted shame of lies, the hurt and pain of loss, the need for redemption and to right our wrongs, and the emptiness that comes with keeping a secret that tears apart your life. That is what the film left me with. The simple truth that we do wrong and we have to live with the consequences.
The way that Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal composed this film brought into light that if a story is worth telling then do it simply, without grandiose or theatrics. Just tell it like it is, let the characters be real and true and awful. I felt the pain and shame of Bradley Cooper’s character; and the hurt and loss of Jeremy Irons old man; and the love and fear of Zoe Saldana’s character. There was depth to the narrative and development of the characters without being obvious or over-the-top. It meant that the heart of the film was able to shine through without being tarnished by me thinking about the film making techniques or script. It was a beauty and sad story told simply and graciously.
I really recommend you see this film. Not just for the gorgeousness of Bradley Cooper’s blue eyes, but for the feeling that this film leaves you with when the lights go up at the end of the film. It may not change your life, or stay with you forever, but it will make you feel something different.