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“Duplicity” — (Bullz-Eye DVD Review)

August 24, 2009


The romance of Ray Koval (Clive Owen) and Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts) is simple enough. Boy meets girl, boy and girl have sex, girl drugs boy and steals incriminating documents. Just another day in the internecine jockeying between the CIA and MI6, but there’s a spark between these two crazy, mendacious kids. It’s only a matter of a few years before they go into corporate espionage, where the real spy money is, and become involved in a battle over a super-secret new product being fought over by CEO Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson) and his nemesis, overbearing corporate whiz-kid Dick Garsil (Paul Giamatti). Their aim: snag the whatsis, sell it to a third party, and get the better of both bosses to the tune of, say, $35 million.

Now, if I made one error in my plot description above is that I made “Duplicity” sound much simpler than it is. Second-time writer-director Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton”) does his best to make things more complex with tricky, Soderbergh-style split-screen flashbacks and flash-forwards that fill in the back story, or the front story, whenever he deems it convenient for our entertainment. Switching from the engrossing but overheated drama of his multi-award winning debut, here Gilroy goes for a very cool comedy of low morals.



One Comment
  1. I just didn’t love this film, couldn’t get into it at all. But, starring at Julia Roberts for two hours is always a good thing.

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