The Truth About Charlie

JONATHAN DEMME

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.  USA/Germany, 2002, , , .  Screenplay by Jonathan Demme, , , , based on the motion picture Charade screenplay by Peter Stone.  Cinematography by .  Produced by Jonathan Demme, , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

It’s hard to watch a remake of one of your favourite movies (Charade in this case) without being somewhat biased, but I’m fairly confident that even those completely unaware of the Audrey Hepburn-Cary Grant classic will find this a boring and uneventful thriller.   makes the perfect Hepburn update as a young woman intent on divorcing her husband () only to come home and find out that he has been murdered. Now she’s in the hot spot since, before dying, her husband was in possession of a huge load of stolen money that some very dangerous people now think she is hiding from them. Enter a helpful stranger () with some mysterious connections and a helpful but suspicious police commandant () to complicate everything and make our heroine wonder whom she can trust in order to survive. Jonathan Demme tries very hard to pay righteous tribute to the glorious New Wave French films of yesteryear but he never can pull it off, primarily because Charade was never one of those films. Had he remade a Godard film or something from Truffaut’s early oeuvre he might have made a better parallel, but Donen’s classic was a glossy Hitchcockian thriller set in Paris and the remake suffers from Demme’s sapping out the humour and romance and concentrating only on the suspense plot (which he dumbs down anyway). Also hampering the proceedings is the complete lack of chemistry between the two stars, who don’t even seem to be aware of each other’s presence. Save your time and rent the original.

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