Tuesday, November 14, 2006

10th Nov 06 - The Page Turner

A thriller about a girl who turns the pages for a piano player? I can just see it now. Will she not turn a page fast enough so they end up out of time? Will the pianist stumble and miss a note? Edge of your seat stuff.

I’m being foolish, of course. The ‘thrill’ aspect derives from the revenge tactics of the page turner herself, and the dependent relationship she forges with the pianist. Melanie, you see, has a bit of a grudge. During her childhood piano exam she was put off by one of the examiners and subsequently failed. Many years later she just happens to be working for the very same examiner. Uh-oh. Though really, holding that kind of grudge for something so minimal? Crazy-much? Well, actually, yes. Melanie is two forks short of a pretentious cutlery set. She skulks around with a creepy stare, casually hinting that she’s capable of bad things, obviously obsessed with the pianist. But though some characters notice there’s something up with Melanie, the object of her obsession / revenge becomes utterly dependent on her. And so Melanie can exact her revenge. Mwuhaha.

Unfortunately, Melanie’s revenge turns out to be a bit of a let down. Tension was built, Melanie was played perfectly by Deborah Francois with a sinister coolness, and there were dabs of excitement here and there. But it all came crashing down at the end. Actually, ‘crashing’ isn’t the right word. It was more of a muffled ending, like running into a wall of marshmallow. It stops you, but in an unremarkable way. Not that a literal wall of marshmallow would be unremarkable. It would, in fact, be quite exciting to run into an entire wall made of marshmallow. The Page Turner was more like flopping against a hard pillow. Or an airbag. It just was an unremarkable ending, ok?

Perhaps a lot of the film’s impact was lost during translation. This was a film less about action, and much more about words and emotion, which, unfortunately, is often lost when reading the dialogue at the bottom of the screen. There was an interesting relationship developed, but ultimately I found little motivation to keep on turning any pages, and was disappointed by the ending. The Page Turner flicks back to CF-1. And apologies for the lucid nature of today’s review – I seem to have a bit of a temperature, which may have made my mind wander. I now quite fancy some marshmallow…

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