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The Day She Opened Up
on 30 June 2012
Columbus Circle is set in a small exclusive area of town of that name, where wealthy residents live in exclusive apartments tended to by a concierge. In one such apartment lives a wealthy lady, Abigail, who is the heiress to a vast family fortune. A recluse, she communicates only via messages posted under the door to the concierge, who organises her shopping for her. She also has one older male friend who is the only visitor she allows, who helps organise much of her administration and also acts as a confidante.
When the elderly lady in the opposite apartment passes on, Abigail is nervous of newcomers to her floor and tries to buy the apartment. She is however inexplicably gazumped by a rich couple who shortly move in; and begins to stress when they turn out to be far from ideal neighbours.
Her stress is exacerbated when a detective comes calling, explaining that the death of the lady next-door is now a murder inquiry - and so she is forced to let someone into her apartment for the first time in years - and as the situation gets worse with the neighbours next door she finds her her apartment admitting more people.
The best thing about Columbus Circle is the gradual revelation that every character in the film has either another agenda, or for one reason or another, aren't quite who they said they were. For the viewer, this gradually makes Abigail seem more and more isolated and vulnerable, yet all the while she is gradually opening up to people.
The film's quite a slick Hollywood affair, yet manages to remain fairly tense and claustrophobic by setting most of the scenes in the apartment block. A bit more eeriness or perhaps atmosphere would have been welcome; there's a lot you can do with characters and rooms in an apartment block to create atmosphere, but the slickness of the production seemed to overwhelm that.
Nevertheless it's an enjoyable film with a whole bunch of twists thrown in as the plot develops, and another couple of good (if unlikely) twists at the ending, but it's a good piece of entertainment and one to keep the viewer watching and guessing.