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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 7, 2010
Contrary to the way the disc jacket advertises this film - there is almost no suspense here. So don't get it thinking you'll see anything Hitchcockian, any psychological thriller, or even any pale shadow of suspense.

But more than that, "The Other Man" suffers from terrible editing. It seems to be made up of footage haphazardly collected from the cutting room floor. The movie is supposed to be based on a respected novel - but something apparently got lost in translation from one medium to the other.

For one thing, you might soon find yourself wondering what Antonio Banderas' character is supposed to be. Is he a gigolo - a janitor - a petty moocher - a hospital orderly - an international sophisticate - or a true romantic? This disjointed multiplicity doesn't reflect any intelligent complication of character. No, it's a simple lapse into messiness. We see Banderas' character flash from one of these personas to the next without any adequate segue.

In a director's commentary that is more intelligent and interesting than the film itself, there is still no adequate explanation of these abridgements.

Finally, the central performance in this mishmash, Liam Neeson's portrayal of a jealous husband, is emotionally inauthentic. I myself felt like walking out on this character and this film and cheating with some real thriller.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The jacket of this DVD has a blurb stating that this is a "gripping suspense thriller". That and the cast comprising Laura Linney and Liam Neeson (there's also Antonio Banderas and Romola Garai) convinced me to rent this movie which turned out to be a disappointing and lackluster viewing experience. Liam Neeson and Laura Linney portray a couple who seem to be happily married - Lisa is a successful shoe designer and Peter is a well-to-do software designer. Then, quite suddenly, Lisa is out of the picture (her fate is only revealed much later in the movie) and Peter uncovers some unsettling e-mails (together with some very sexy photos) that suggest Lisa has been having an affair with a certain Ralph (Antonio Banderas). Peter manages to track down Ralph in Milan, Italy with the intent of killing this other man - Peter gains Ralph's confidence, barely disguising his disdain for his wife's lover, and over the course of the film (mainly via flashbacks) the fate of Peter's wife is revealed, as is Ralph's true nature, and the relationship between Ralph and Lisa. By this time however, any suspense aspect in the movie has long since faded, leaving me frustrated that I had wasted time on this uninspired movie.

I cannot believe that the same director, Richard Eyre, who gave us Notes on a Scandal, directed this tepid domestic drama. It really is merely that - a boring drama about a baffled and irate husband (Neeson) who through the course of the movie tries to understand why his wife betrayed him, and then turns his anger upon his wife's lover. There's a secondary character in the form of Lisa and Peter's adult daughter, played by Romola Garai. She tries to dissuade her father from taking any drastic measures, and spends her time pleading and whining (Ms. Garai can however shine in a role, as evidenced by her performance in I Capture the Castle. Both Neeson and Linney's considerable talents are totally wasted here - their characters are never allowed to truly grow or develop, and Banderas' character seems a mere caricature, which could well have been the intent in the movie. Oh, there's a twist towards the end (having to do with the fate of the absent wife) that is more baffling than disturbing. As for DVD extras - there's a director's audio commentary, cast and crew interviews, and a theatrical trailer. Final verdict - rent if you must - otherwise, I'd advise skipping this.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2010
Just watched this film last night and feel the same as other reviewers. I watched the first part again to figure out if I had dropped off and missed how/when the Linney character disappeared. It could have been a great film but they either cut corners, or thought the very subtle segue to the husband throwing out the wife's clothes would be enough to tell us what the hell was going on. The story would have been much better if we had clearly known what happened to her and that the husband was then on a postmortem mission to find the lover. Disappointed
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2010
Like a lot of people, I chose this DVD based upon the excellent cast, writer/director, and descriptives on the DVD label; however, I was quite disappointed with the movie. I will not provide a rehash of the plot (other reviewers have already done this) but will focus on the specific deficiencies.

Whether due to faulty editing or a failed attempt at artistry, the continuity of the plot has serious problems. There are jumps of time and location which simply do not make sense. In more skillful hands, discordant chronology may be a valuable feature (Memento), but here it is simply confusing. At one point, I, like another reviewer, became convinced that my DVD was defective and a portion of the movie had been deleted. Such sloppiness is distracting, disappointing, and inexplicable.

The concept that people are not as they may seem is, in more skillful hands, a wonderful plot twist. Here, however, it was presented in a heavy handed, cartoonish way. Each of the main characters at times demonstrates a lifestyle or behavior that is not just unexpected but jarringly inappropriate and impossible to believe. SPOILER: I can possibly accept that the sweet, gentle husband is prone to loud, profane, violent outbursts....but for the suave, ladies man to actually be a penniless, tortoise-rescuing janitor??? Come on, why is this necessary? How does this advance the plot in any way? It is a childish, simplistic twist without any redeeming merit. END of SPOILER

Character development is virtually non-existent. Why do these people behave as they do, especially when their behavior is so "out of character"? These revelations could have been the best part of the movie, but sadly are ignored.

People appear and disappear from distant locations with no time or effort required. The daughter is at home in England one minute, in Italy the next, back home in the next few seconds. The wife appears and disappears with no adequate explanation (until it really doesn't matter). I hate it when directors and writers ignore practical constraints of time and distance. Reality can jar a viewer's emotions, but ignoring reality merely jars their intelligence.

Granted, the cinematography, acting, locations, etc. were excellent. However, the heart of any movie is its plot, and if there are serious, jarring deficiencies in the plot, the movie simply has no heart. This was an excellent example of largely wasted talent....please accept my (and others) most sincere suggestion that you seek viewing pleasure elsewhere.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 22, 2009
Just watched the DVD without having seen the Trailers or previous reviews. Picked up the movie based on the quality of the actors and the description on the DVD case, a "gripping suspense thriller". Based on the DVD case description we thought we were getting a Hitchcockian type suspense thriller. Hardly!

Plot synopsis: Happily married couple...wife walks out the door and disappears about ten minutes into movie...husband spends remainder of movie tracking down, dealing with, and coming to terms with the emotional trauma created by "The Other Man". Husband knows why wife disappears from the moment we see her leave in a slow motion shot...no mystery to him at all. Too bad we are left hanging for the next forty-five minutes. Her apparent disappearence early on has nothing to do with the plot other than to make us think we are watching a suspense thriller. No guns, no chases, no violent confrontations, no 180 degree plot twists, and no surprise ending. In fact, the ending is wierd and beguilling. In our our view it seems tacked on and somewhat implausable.

First rate acting and beautiful locale photography of Milan and Lake Como, Italy, make up, somewhat, for a disjointed plot and some odd film editing. In the scenes following the wife's disappearance we literally stopped the DVD and wondered if it had skipped ahead a chapter by mistake. Additionally, if we hadn't spent two years living near Milan and Lake Como we'd loose track of the continuous flashbacks and changes in plot locations. This is a film requiring your full attention to keep up.

Still, if we'd wanted to watch a lushly made "Lifetime TV" drama which confusingly unfolds revealing a love triangle, we'd rent this movie. It just isn't what it describes itself to be.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I am usually a man with quite a few words. And I'm an English teacher so you'd think I'd write my first review on Amazon to post a cogent and thick review. But no. I'm here right after seeing this movie because I feel it is my public duty to say this:

This movie was (insert explative here) horrible. Don't give it five minutes. But if you do, watch the ending just to see someone looked confused with three coffee cup containers in hand. It doesn't make any sense. And it sucks. Badly. Then it ends, and I now somehow feel dirty. That's just how bad this movie is.

Don't do it.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
THE OTHER MAN is a thinking person's film, a film well cast, finely acted, and well written by writer/director Richard Eyre based on a short story by master storyteller Bernhard Schlink ('The Reader', 'Flights of Love' - collection of short stories from which this story is excerpted, etc). If some viewers find the film confusing or too subtle in the unraveling of a fascinating tale, the problem is that the cast and director and writers demand more of the viewer's attention than in the usual movie fare. A suspense film should keep the viewer in the dark, or thinking in one direction, until a little twist changes the story that has been unfolding on a different level. That is what THE OTHER MAN does and it is a pleasure to be surprised in this way.

Peter (Liam Neeson) is a successful business man whose wife Lisa (Laura Linney) is a successful and high profile shoe designer. He spends much of his life in her shadow but the marriage works for them both and they obviously love each other and their young rambunctious daughter Abigail (Romola Garai) who is attached to the somewhat hippie, strange George (Craig Parkinson). Lisa's office comrades - Ralph (Patterson Joseph) and Vera (Pam Ferris) - are supportive of both Peter and Lisa and the world seems balanced. Very early in the film Lisa departs for Milan for another showing of her shoes, but she doesn't return. Peter grows suspicious when he discovers insinuating email messages from a man named Ralph, and once he discovers this Ralph is not her office comrade, he sets out on a mission to find the source of his wife' surprise infidelity. He discovers pictures taken in a special hotel in Milan, pictures that reveal photos of 'Ralph' (Antonio Banderas) in intimate situations with Lisa. Peter travels to Milan with the intent to kill Ralph, stalks him, and discovers his pastime of playing chess in a little Milanese café. And this is where Schlink and Eyre change the twist of the story, and Ralph is not at all whom he appears to be, nor is the direction of Peter's vengeance as focused as we expected. It is this crucial turn of storyline that make this film so endearing and to suggest, even slightly, the final moments of this film would destroy the suspense so well written and directed and acted.

Neeson, Linney, Banderas, and Garai are all splendid in these difficult roles - Linney continues to mature as an actress while becoming ever more beautiful in countenance. This is a tightly drawn suspense tale and well worth the attention of the public unafraid to think along with the development of the story. Grady Harp, December 09
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2009
Not since the "Unfaithful" with Richard Gere and Diane Lane has there been a more uneventful... slow & plodding movie. The sheer waste of Talent and film for that matter sets a precedent for a lousy movie. The both of these movies are about unfaithful women who are so boring who cares who or why they are unfaithful with. Most of the movie is walking and stalking and mumbling and mumbling. Where are all the great directors of yesterday. There has been no one to fill their absence.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2011
I almost rated this a five just to offset the one that someone else gave it, but I thought it better to be honest. Liam Neeson and Antonio Banderas are, as always, excellent actors and, contrary to what the other commentator said, I would assert that this movie is exactly what it claims to be about ... the other man. The actors very successfully portray the depth of each of their characters, and the plot was paramount to their ability to do so. It was a beautiful story, and brings out how complex people are. There is no black and white here, but neither is there in real life. We all live in the gray area.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I found the questions posed by this film provocative. Continuing the director's exploration of relationships in Iris ( where the relationship between Iris and her husband is also improbable..why did she choose him?) we have here a husband who adored his wife and never imagined for a moment she would need or had had a long term affair with a lover in another country..yes we can all see there is something not quite persuasive about her lover and we are surprised that she would seek out such a relationship..there seems nothing at all missing or incompolete about her life. As with Iris, this husbands love is sustaining and firm, full of compassion and forgiveness. The surpise reveal of the lover's true identity may seem a little far fethched at first blush..could a sophisticated worldly woman really be fooled for so long and how could he really have pulled it off? But setting that improbability aside, it makes a point I think about how our needs distort our perception of reality, how seductive and blinding it can be to be so loved by another. I think some of my fellow reviewers who were looking for a suspense thriller may have missed some of the Jamesian subtlety that is actually here.
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