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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Wednesday June 12th 2024

Police, Adjective & The Ghost Writer

Police, Adjective

by Howard McQuitter

Police, Adjective (2009)
Twentieth Century Fox
Running Time: 115 minutes
Language: Romanian
Director: Corneliu Porumboiu
Bucharest detective Cristi (Dragos Bucur) trails a teenage boy who may be a hashish user, trying to find his supplier. Cristi would rather stop what seems to be overkill in finding small quantities of drugs on a 16 or 17 year old boy. Examining cigarette butts after the boy or his friends leave isn”'t what Cristi relishes doing.

Cristi”'s boss (Vlad Ivanov, “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days”) wants convictions; Cristi wants a far softer approach, clemency if you will, for a conviction can mean 15 years and ruin the boy”'s life, which is against his conscience. Perhaps his boss”' draconian approach to the boy (we never know his name) is rooted in the Ceausescu regime (1965-1989), a former iron-fisted Communist rule in Romania.

“Police, Adjective” is certainly not for everyone unless one has extreme patience. Waiting for something is an excruciating experience.

The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer (2010)
Not rated by reviewer
Rating: PG 13
Running Time: 128 minutes
Director: Roman Polanski

Ewan McGregor plays “The Ghost”, a ghostwriter. He has no given name or surname but he”'s been hired for probably the diciest assignment in his life: complete memoirs of the former prime minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan). Lang”'s under a cloud of scandal because he allegedly gave a green light for the CIA to kidnap and torture Pakistani terrorist suspects. The Ghost”'s task is as difficult as it is dangerous. Lang”'s last volume, called “I Came, I Saw, I Conquered”, a quote by Emperor Constantine, holds vital information which can implicate louche characters.

Shortly after McGregor leaves the publisher”'s office, he is mugged and has a manuscript stolen. But he is not much of an ideologue; he is a mercenary in the true form. The last ghost writer ended up dead or missing. McGregor discovers holes and inconsistencies galore in the memoirs.
The Ghost Writer visits an old “friend” of Adam Lang back in their university days, who now lives in a country house outside of New York City. The “old” friend, Paul Emmett (Tom Wilkson) is evasive, reveals little to help him with an ominous warning to the questioner at hand.
When the Ghost is back home he has the attentiveness of Amelia (Olivia Williams) and Lang”'s wife (Kim Cattrall) to connect the dots of an enigmatic memoir.

The “Ghost Writer” is a genuine mystery ”“ and no wonder ”“ at the hands of a great director Roman Polanski, one expects no less. There are always many layers to Polanski”'s movies, and “The Ghost Writer” is no exception.

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