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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars With lies, you may go ahead in the world, but you may never go back., 7 April 2012
This review is from: Transsiberian [DVD] (DVD)
Transsiberian is directed by Brad Anderson who also co-writes the screenplay with Will Conroy. It stars Woody Harrleson, Emily Mortimer, Kate Mara, Ben Kingsley and Eduardo Noriega. Music is by Alfonso Vilallonga and cinematography by Xavi Gimenez.

Roy (Harrelson) and Jessie (Mortimer) finish their business in China and decide to take the Transsiberian Express from Beijing to Moscow. Here they befriend Carlos (Noriega) and Abby (Mara) who are sharing their cabin berth with them. From here on in their trip descends into a nightmare of panic, paranoia and pain.

Murder, intrigue, sexual tension and corruption! Sounds like a Hitchcock movie. Which in this case is high, and apt, praise indeed for Brad Anderson (Session 9/The Machinist) and his film. Transsiberian is adroitly crafted by Anderson, who makes full use of the cramped interiors of the train to keep the suspense ever pulsing in the narrative. Even when the action leaves the train and the expansive snowy surrounds envelope the characters, an air of disquiet permeates the plotting. With Anderson and Gimenez using hand-held cameras, it all feels up close and personal, which is another plus.

At its core it's a mystery thriller, with questions deliberately left hanging in the air until the film nearly runs out of steam in the final quarter. It's only there where the film lets itself down, mainly because answers are given and hope springs eternal. You sense it would have benefited the film greatly to have gone out on an ambiguous note, or better still, to have taken a trip down even darker roads than the ones that had just preceded it.

Still, it remains a very good thriller, character dynamics are most interesting, where Harrelson and Mortimer's (brilliant) relationship is feeling the strain of something in the past, and Mara and Noriega's coupling is purposely sketchy and suspicious. Kingsley files in for another shifty performance, here as a narcotics copper, and the sound tracking is deliciously off kilter. Narrative has some commentary on European miserablists, trouble in the post Soviet Union era, female empowerment and of course the potential risks of travelling through foreign lands without your wits about you! 7.5/10
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Location: Birmingham, England.

Top Reviewer Ranking: 387