Monday, November 29, 2010


Compared to his early straight madcap funny films and some of his later made best films, this one is quite average Woody Allen entertainer. The plot and screenplay is thin, Woody shuffled the execution and narration with drama and thrill but it all seems too repetitive and stretched one as film progresses. Even Woody himself is over indulgent here and his cheesy gags and one-liners are quite a missing case. The film begins with death of Woody’s next door neighbor’s wife. Diane Keaton who played Woody’s wife is an obsessed private eye grows suspicious over the old widower (played by Alan Alda). Slowly under her mad frenzy she sorted out clues that turned natural heart attack death to a planned murder. Poor Woody has nothing to do except showing his routine paranoia and disorder runs parallel under shadow of his wife’s detective fixation.

Sidelining the weak points, the strong reason to watch it is the natural chemistry between Woody and her on screen/off screen muse Diane Keaton after a long gap. Though both of them seem quite aged here; the chemistry between them is as impeccably amusing one as in ‘Annie Hall’. Woody often pays tribute to nostalgic screen moments of those B&W classics in his films. He paid homage to ‘Casablanca’ and legendary Humphrey Bogart in his ‘Play it again, Sam’. Here he offered his homage to two unforgettable noirs of all-time- Billy Wilder’s ‘Double Indemnity’ and Orson Welles’s ‘The Lady from Shanghai’. Worth to mention that the city of New York remained Woody’s big fascination and almost an inseparable character in many of his films. The way he filmed all those city streets, parks, bridges and locations in his multiple films including this one are the best cinematic tribute ever paid to ‘the city that never sleeps’.


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