One Hour Photo [Blu-ray]
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It would be a shame, however, not to notice that this is also a very well-made film. A very sad but all-too-familiar story about loneliness and social isolation unfolds at a compelling pace, with a script that resists patronizing its subject or sensationalizing it. We have no choice but to notice the use of color to distinguish worlds; the flat, washed-out landscape in which Sy is imprisoned, and the lush, brilliant hues of the family life he aches for.
As events unfold, we stick to Sy's personal tragedy and his rage rather than follow standard horror-movie cliches, making the suspense and the horror genuine and harrowing. Do not less this one pass by.
This is most certainly Robin Williams scariest role to date and one in which he's least like himself as he's completely suppressed his comedic nature for the almost clinical persona of Seymour "Sy" Parish. He certainly deserves any and all accolades he earns from this film. Connie Nielsen performs admirably in this film as well.
In his feature film directing debut, Mark Romanek has written and directed a pure psychological thriller masterpiece. From the simple concept of looking at a SavMart like store and coming up with this script, he has shown an amazing talent. This is a director whose films are to be looked out for in the future.
The soundtrack for this film is also quite dead on with every sequence and adds beautifully to the suspenseful nature of the film.
Seymour "Sy" Parish (Robin Williams) works at the local SavMart as the photo technician. He's been working there for eleven years and in a large sense he has no life other than his job. During his daily routine at work, he sees everybody's lives, or more succinctly, their more joyful moments, in the pictures they bring in to be developed. Somewhere along the line he has become thoroughly infatuated with one particular family, the Yorkins. Sy even fantasizes about being Uncle Sy in the Yorkin family.Read more ›
With this in mind, I pretty much expected to enjoy "One-Hour Photo." I thought it could be an challenging role for Williams, and it had been a while since I really saw him stretch himself much. I didn't really know what to expect from the film as a whole, though. I was very pleasantly surprised.
"One-Hour Photo" is one of those atmospheric films that seem to happen by chance every now and again, happy accidents of mood and observation that seem almost accidentally skillful, but most likely are good by design. The director, in a DVD commentary, expresses the fact that one of the motivating themes behind the style of the film was a fascination with the massive discount store chains that have spread rapidly across America in the last couple of decades. It's a thematic element which shows through in almost every scene, most especially in the expansive, clean shots of the store interior, and mirrored in the ordered simplicity of the decoration and furnishings in Williams' character's house. By contrast, other locations seem complex, chaotic, even messy.
Another impressive element of the film is the use of color. Early on, in a bit of narration, Williams' photo clerk describes his disdain for the work of most one-hour photo labs, criticizing them for prints which are too dark or too light, or in which the color is improperly balanced. In another scene, later, Williams gets into a loud argument with a technician about a slight blue shift in the photo processing machine he uses. Williams speaks with pride of the care he takes in getting colors perfect in his prints. This immediately made me start looking for color and light cues in the film itself, and there are many to find.Read more ›
Robin Williams gives one of his best performances to date as an appearingly mild mannered yet devious photo clerk who takes his job as a photo tech at the local "Sav-Mart' a bit too serious because it appears to be all he has.
His emotional pathology becomes progressively evident and alarming as he becomes increasingly 'over-involved' with a family that brings in their photos to his store for processing. Although he blatantly oversteps some major boundaries, he does so in such a way that the seriousness of his disturbance is not realized soon enough. Some of his bizarre behaviors lead your thoughts to very dark places while at the same time, the pity his character generates, makes you want to believe that maybe his motivations really aren't that pathological.
Because Williams character evokes such a wide range of emotion, your own feelings towards him vaccilate. He is devious yet likable even amidst his pervading creepiness. Although appearingly generally mild mannered and timid, he has his moments of assertiveness and later, 'over the edge' aggressiveness and righteous indignation.
The cinematography and visual imagery is excellent and brilliantly contrasts the drab, washed out and somewhat color-less life of William's character to that of the vivid and vibrant family he becomes "focused" on.
It's a good psychological thriller. Like a photo snapshot, there's much more to this film than what we see on the surface.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great movie. It is a shame he never took on more roles like this. It was very dark but Robin Williams nailed this role.Published 4 days ago by Jim Howard
Robin Williams is terrific in this dark movie. I think that I was paranoid about getting my film developed anywhere for weeks after watching this movie.Published 11 days ago by Firefly604
I started watching this movie not exactly sure if “what it appeared to be” was something I would want to watch. Read morePublished 1 month ago by proton32060
Robin Williams first real creepy movie, absolutely love it! He plays an amazing crazy guy!Published 2 months ago by Matthew Sharp
Enjoyed the film. I always enjoy seeing comedy actors in more serious roles. Robin Williams knocked it out of the park!Published 3 months ago by Average Guy
Robin Williams does a great job portraying the main character. Creepy alright! The angles of the camera at certain times are done well. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mishalle R.