Chloe (2009)

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A sultry thriller that provides an attractive cast and a chance for a tense storyline but ultimately falls a little short of this opportunity by the ending. Perhaps a case of less being more should have been taken into account as this film seems to believe it’s darker and more intelligent than it really is, too much in the way of sexy kinkiness between the female leads and not enough substance in the plot help contribute to a small if noticeable dslip in what could have been much more.

Catherine is a married woman and a gynecologist who starts to suspect her husband, David is cheating on her so she pays a beautiful young lady to talk to him and see what happens, any news is reported back to Catherine and soon she’s tangled up in the stories of this Chloe and trouble could very well be around the next corner.

It’s a good film for the most part but certain sex-thriller tropes become overused and it can grow a little tiresome. It feels forced sometimes in the lingering of looks and moments leading to the inevitable hook-up between Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) and Catherine (Julianne Moore). It’s more troubling in the way it seems to be winking at the audience letting them know that a steamy lesbian sex scene is on the cards and however committed that scene is acted, it’s hinted to far too much leaving little or no surprise to it happening, which would have made it more impacting if it came out of the blue. The biggest problem though, is the latter half of the third act where it becomes stalkerish and over the top and the finale involving the twisted love/lust affair between the women is pretty bad. A huge preposterous event that could have been done in another more subtle manner helping provide more fear and/or emotion instead of the odd feeling it does create. It feels a little over dramatically stitched on after the previous more effective evocative thriller like atmosphere made throughout the movie.

The score adds greatly to the thriller mood of the piece and with the big orchestral sounds you feel involved in this dark and sexy world not knowing what is going on and just what is happening behind those big doe eyes of Chloe. It helps that she looks the part in being alluring, seductive and smart. The opening voice over leads you to understand from the outset that she knows what to do, say and where to place her hands, etc. All helping spell out the kind of character she could be and in that you feel the manipulative force she can control without ever looking that way, a worrying yet attractive quality, this spills over in that weaker final act where you see her contemplating in Catherine’s reception, the look on her face is perfect in saying it all without speaking one word and then she looks up as if eyeing the camera and the audience and the music layered over suddenly feels more dangerous than it ever has so far.

Amanda Seyfried is perfect in this part, looking beautiful and sexy and however her character comes off by the end you can’t help but understand Catherine’s attraction to her. You also feel trapped in her eyes and her words, a powerful sultry performance from Seyfried in one of her finer roles even if the film itself isn’t overly fantastic. She is at once conniving and assured but also vulnerable and lost to the desire of everyone around her. Julianne Moore delves well into her character and provides raw emotion in the affecting journey of whether her husband is cheating and then how to cope with this new passion in her life. Liam Neeson is good in a role that sits back to let the story of the two women expand and manifest. The bubbling friendship and disturbing attraction between the females are both believable and dangerous and these two actresses are the strongest elements in the film.

The city landscape of this film also looks picturesque and smoky streets help try and elevate the thriller tendency of this film, it’s a pity the last part of the movie becomes over the top and that other moments of thriller film making are thrown in and misfire, a cliche of obsessive fantasies and the third act twist don’t ramp up the film like it should and after feeling like it could have gone somewhere you can’t help but feel a little lost that it didn’t live up to the way it felt it was heading.

A sort of interesting look at developing attraction and the trusts of marriage that become more melodramatic than thriller based and by the end the tight tension unravels and leaves us with a slack payoff.

6/10

 

 

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