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I hate "reviews" that are nothing more than plot synopses, especially those that give away surprise endings or get the facts mangled, so I'll try to avoid that trap. Dark Harbor is a claustrophobic film about a stifling marriage and what happens when a drifter gets drawn into the story. Alan Rickman is multi-layered and superb, as usual, in the role of the frustrated husband. Polly Walker brings a nice mix of edginess and innocence to the young wife. But Norman Reedus does not do a thing for me as the drifter; he's a skanky cypher, and I can't imagine anyone risking it all to connect with this character.
That said, the film does an effective build of tension among the threesome, with some ambiguous scenes and dialogue. A highlight of the movie is the little speech about love that Rickman's character delivers near the end of the story. Another highlight, also near the end, is when Rickman's character strips naked and goes skinny dipping in the harbor. Not many actors are that brave, especially ones over 50.
This film is a must for Rickman fans, and a "maybe" for all others.
"Dark Harbor" is filled with twists and subplots reminiscent of Hitchcock; the darkness of hidden truths and realities behind the veil of the Weinberg's marriage, will leave you breathless.
The plot has a powerful premise, but grows thin at times and I wondered just what was left on the cutting room floor that would have strengthened it ; perhaps more information about David and the boy would have satisifed me. Powerful performances by three exciting actors made up for some of those weakness.
Alan Rickman exposes a range of powerful emotions that will delight fans who wished to see him break out of sugary or manic roles. His after dinner speech with the boy is mesmerizingly tender, and deservedly earns him the title, "The Voice", while Norman Reedus is a force to be reckoned with, clearly focused on getting what he wants in the end. Polly Walker is strangely touching as the wife without a clue of the poison brewing within herself, her husband, and the man they're both attracted and repelled by.
The final ten minutes of the movie is both powerful and, to some, disturbing. But if you watch "Dark Harbor" with an open mind, you, too, will have to wonder what you would or wouldn't do for love. END
Until the next to the last scene, this film has only three characters, but I did not find it at all sparsely populated. These are big,strong characters whose personalities take up a lot of space,time, and energy. Rickman and Walker are a couple who never seem to finish the argument in which the movie opens. there is an uneasiness and lack of harmony between them throughout, yet they did not seem to nitpick, nor did i find them annoying. I sensed that they both would have gone on with their low-grade bickering forever until they stopped to help a young man, played by Norman Reedus, lying by the side of the road. From then on, I was certain that their lives had been altered, and NOT for the better. Despite that certainty, this is not a predictable film, nor is it a formulaic one. The acting is superb, the dialogue is real, the setting is perfect. To say that this is a dark movie is an understatement. It IS very dark, but in the best possible way. It is a labyrinth through which I was certain I had found my way until the very last scene. Unlike the Nick Nolte-Jessica Lange version of Cape Fear, it didn't matter whether I
liked the characters or not, but it DID matter what happened to them. I wanted to find out and I certainly DID find out.
This film was totally enjoyable and I consider it two hours well-spent.
The plot has been well outlined in most of these reviews; sometimes perfectly, sometimes with too much information, and a few times by reviewers who apparently didn't even watch the complete film. Rather than rehashing the plot this review offers simple and hopefully clarifying suggestions.
If you are an Alan Rickman film, do not hesitate; BUY this DVD! Forget about worrying about his accent, savor looking forward to his nude scenes, but do NOT skip to the end of the movie to view them. You gamble on missing too much of Rickman's spellbinding performance if you skip even one minute of this small, but very effective film.
Previous viewers who saw the movie on VHS will be enlightened by watching it again on DVD. I have been a movie fan for more years than I want to say, but have now discovered that the nuances of many films have sometimes escaped me totally over those decades. If ever there was something to be learned from a commentary this is the film to prove it (along with 'South of Heaven, West of Hell'). Not that the film itself needs to be explained, but the element of how a director presents of a film; the mood attained by the camera angles, the symbols included in every scene, the intricate details of the shooting of the movie, the input of the actors (particularly one as great as Alan Rickman) into their roles, the subtle nuances of looks, glances, and plot building all lend a deeper understanding and enjoyment of 'Dark Harbor'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful film that I've watched multiple times. Well worth a viewing if you can track down a copy!Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
such a good movie!! Marc Norman Reedus did an AMAZING job in this!Published 7 months ago by Elizabeth Hoffman
I received this movie in a timely manner and I enjoy it very much. Very good movie because of Norman Reedus :)Published 12 months ago by rena
Being a tremendous fan of Rickman, Boondock Saints, and Enchanted April I figured why not. I like to go to the top of my mountain and vegetate, dvds are my only source of... Read morePublished 22 months ago by LN
This film is dark and disturbing right from the start. The term "dark" seeps through every animate and inanimate thing you see. Read morePublished on January 18, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Well, as films go, it's rather moody and grim, but it is a film worth watching even if you aren't an Alan Rickman fan. Read morePublished on December 5, 2013 by Paula E. Harris
If you're not a Rickman fan, you might not enjoy it as much. While the story concept is interesting, the twists unexpected (I normally can guess what the plot twists will be in... Read morePublished on September 25, 2013 by Rhachel Toombs
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