‘The Roommate’ a total dud (IANS Movie Review)

April 24th, 2011 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Film: “The Roommate”; Cast: Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet; Director: Christian E. Christiansen; Rating: *

There are some movies so filled with every known cliche and camera angle in its genre that one is left wondering at the bankruptcy of the Hollywood executives who sponsor such films. Want proof, go watch “The Roommate”. And that is indeed the only conceivable reason one could want to watch this dud that is a horror to the viewers patience.

Sara (Minka Kelly) and Rebecca (Leighton Meester) are roommates at a college dorm. Only Rebecca, who idolises Sara, is not what the kind gentle roommate she is supposed to be and gradually begins taking over her life to an expected ending.

Films in this genre are obvious. What should not be is the passage to that obvious ending. This film follows a passage that has been trod so much that the path is no longer a path, but has become a highway.

A copy of the 1992 film “Single White Female”, this one misses out on everything that made the original a fun watch. There’s hardly any unexpected tension, or horror in the idiosyncrasies of the psychotic roommate. Instead you have bad performances adding to the jamboree of a bad script, direction and music.

As any movie lover knows, most films in the popular genre are predictable. But in their predictability, there is believability, an even tone and the reworking of cliche that makes the film enjoyable. The Roommate makes no attempts to try anything interesting or new. Not just that but director Christiansen even blotches up on the predictability of cliches without being convincing about it.

And this has not just to do with the script, which is predictable, but also the direction, the angles that the director chooses for his shots, that adds to the predictability thus jarring even the little enjoyment expected even of a film like this.

The film also follows a usual Hollywood practice, of painting people black and white. In almost every such movie, there is no sympathy for the psychotic murderer, something that would have made the experience of watching the movie interesting.

Not just that, the film also does not sympathise with the viewer, who is left with a bored headache - that is if they did manage to stay awake through its duration.

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