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Derailed June 5, 2007

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.
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A simple, formulaic psychological thriller, this movie has spawned two Indian versions. The first one is the recently released Tamil film, Pachai Kili Muthucharam, directed by Gautham Menon and the second is the upcoming Hindi film, The Train, directed by Mohit Suri.

Charles (Clive Owen) and Deanna (Melissa George) are a married couple working hard to save up for the treatment of their daughter, who is diabetic and is repeatedly rejecting kidney transplants. The child’s illness and the stress from their lifestyle has strained the relationship between the couple. One day, Charles meets Lucinda (Jennifer Aniston) on the train and they get friendly. This friendship leads to an affair. But before they can consummate their relationship, a shocking incident involving a thief called Laroche (Vincent Cassel) threatens to change their lives forever. Can Charles and Linda save their marriages? Can Charles get his derailed life back on track?

The screenplay of this film (by Stuart Beattie who wrote Collateral in the past) based on a novel by James Siegel has a good number of logical flaws that are hard to discuss without giving the plot away. There are many moments where you get the “why the heck would anyone do that?” feeling. The work of director Mikeal Hafstrom isn’t special. Among the actors, Vincent Cassel (Ocean’s Twelve) gets the best part – a conventional villain – and he makes the most of it. Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston provide the star power to keep you hooked.

This is one of those thrillers where the audience’s like/dislike depends on the twist its trying to hide. It isn’t too hard to guess the twist beforehand (you suspect it very early in the movie if you’re used to watching such thrillers). The film is far-fetched and contrived but is watchable if you’re expectations aren’t high and you enjoy the genre.

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