1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Splendid old-fashioned political mystery. More like a play than a film,
This review is from: Ghost Writer [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Unless you are a dedicated Blu-Ray enthusiast, then you may as well watch this taut little mystery as a normal DVD, cos there ain't a great deal of visual excitement to benefit from the high-definition treatment.
This film isn't really a 'thriller' or a chase movie or an action-adventure flick, despite the way it was marketed in the trailers. So don't watch it expecting a Jason Bourne-style romp cos you'll be disappointed.
'The Ghost' is much more like an old-time theatre play -- with the same kind of confusion and tangled mystery as you find in The 39 Steps or The Third Man. It doesn't reach those giddy heights of cinematic perfection, but it is an entertaining, intelligent small-scale film with witty dialogue and a clever conceit. I was quite impressed with Ewan McGregor's subtle turn as the confused writer who gets caught up in an international plot. He is hired to finish the memoir of an ex-Brit PM, and gets dragged into a global conspiracy related to war crimes, extraordinary rendition, CIA activities, violent protestors and the murder of his predecessor. McGregor doesn't overplay the part, and his bafflement and increasing concern escalate into panic as he uncovers the secrets behind the PM's past actions. Brosnan is fab in the Tony Blair role, and the two female leads also turn in extremely creditable, nuanced performances.
The result is a film which doesn't quite show its full hand until the final credits roll. It's enhanced by all manner of subtle byplay, political comment and background absurdity throughout. There's a wonderful skit involving a gardner who spends his time pointlessly chasing leaves around a windswept courtyard -- and plenty of other delicate attention to detail (the state of the writer's apartment; the 'liar' theme to the protesters' posters) which made it all the more enjoyable. Bit too much BMW product placement, however!
I'd happily watch this one again. Not sure I'd bother getting a Blu-Ray version because there isn't too much in the filming which would make hi-definition a must.