I have connections in high places a friend who works in media and gets free passes, so I got to see the preview of Duplicity last night at GV Plaza. I went in with no expectations or idea about the movie whatsoever, and honestly thought that this was a romantic comedy that was going to leave a warm fuzzy feeling at the end of the night but satisfy little (like Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, which I saw last Friday). Then I saw the poster, and it said, “She’s ex-CIA. He’s ex-MI6”, and I thought, “Great, Mr and Mrs Smith 2.0”.
How wrong I was. The movie was absolutely phenomenal. For the record, it is hard to wow me. And having seen a lot of good shows, my standards are set relatively high. I am not sure there have been other movies on industrial espionage, but if there have not been, this movie puts a fresh, contemporary angle on the tired old genre of spy-fiction. It is a fascinating look into the world of industrial espionage and competitiveness, while not losing track of our main characters
The movie opens in a place where boy-meets-girl and boy-and-girl-get-it-on – but that is only the beginning, as they try to reconcile what they do with wanting to be together. They enter the world of industrial espionage in order to make money, leaving their careers in their respective government agencies. Trust issues dominate the relationship between Ray (Clive Owen) and Claire (Julia Roberts), understandably because both of them are spies and trust no one, as well as knowing full well how the other person is able to lie and manipulate as good as them.
To tell its story, it travels back and forth in time, and slowly builds up the plot and backstory for us. By starting at a point where they leave the viewers completely confused about what is going on, they managed to pull them along the grasshopping storypath and put together the puzzle. Every time you think the story is going this way, it turns around and drops you in a completely different place. The writing is witty and sharp, and the characters very compelling, even the ones who are not the main characters. The ending was, in my opinion, really good, as everything got turned on its head – in keeping with the rest of the movie
I would give this movie 5 stars – and that’s high praise.