Thursday, March 19, 2009

Duplicity

Duplicity n 1. deceitfulness in speech or conduct; speaking or acting in two different ways concerning the same matter with intent to deceive; double-dealing.
2. a twofold or double state or quality

My definition: 1. a two-facedness 2. a can't be trusted any farther than you can throw 'em state or quality.

It's the common trait between CIA officer, Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts) and M16 Agent, Ray Koval (Clive Owen) that attracts and repels them simultaneously. Think Jamie Foxx's song, "Just Like Me" and you'll understand the basis of their relationship. Both work for competing manufacturing companies as spies and both will do just about anything to see their company win the war to get a top secret product to market first. But are they in it to win it for their bosses or for themselves. It's hard to tell with these sly characters.

Through overused flashbacks, we see Stenwick's and Koval's uncanny relationship evolve. From Dubai to Nassau to London and Miami both try to out-dupe the other as they work initially for different companies then find themselves on the same team. But somewhere in the middle of their sexy role play, the two realize the only thing they can really trust is how they feel about each other. Yet, even that must be questioned since neither is totally trusting of the other.

Overall, "Duplicity" plays out like your favorite spy novel. It's set in some of the sexiest cities in the world with two of Hollywood's sexiest actors. There's plenty of intrigue and surprising plot twists that keep you guessing from beginning to end. And I could see a possibility of a "Duplicity" 2 being made. It's like an old school Bond movie or an "Oceans" flick without the distraction of guns, violence, and explosions every 15 minutes.

Written eight years ago and directed by Tom Gilroy ("Micheal Clayton"), the film is a little hard to follow. But that may be by design, a distraction possibly to keep movie-goers from figuring things out too soon. One thing that is easy to figure out is Robert's shine. Although she's been absent from the big screen for a minute (translation " long time", 2004 to be exact) it doesn't appear she's dropped one Hollywood star.

"Give me a scene with no wardrobe and watch me cook!" she joked, writes the Press Association.

And sizzle she does with her clothes on, in a particular bar scene with Owen thanks to Gilroy's great dialogue. But Roberts isn't alone in heating up the screen with a little flash of flesh. Owen gives us a great view of the landscape he's working with too wrapped in only a towel as he prepares for bed, not to sleep mind you, but to do other things.
So, there's something to lust after for everybody.

Universal's "Duplicity" opens this Friday. Want more insider information on the film visit http://duplicity.net for downloads and cast bios. Want to know what I'm doing in the meantime, follow me on Twitter, http://twitter.com/hollywoodlvwork.com.

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