Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal's "The Words"

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Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal's "The Words" Empty Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal's "The Words"

Post by Deviss on Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:00 pm

"We all make our choices in life; the hard thing to do is live with them."

  • Story: Three and a half Stars
  • Acting: Four Stars
  • Directing: Three and a half Stars
  • Visuals: Four Stars
  • Overall: Three and a half Stars

Before I sat down to type out this review, I tried to remember just how I came across "The Words" and for the life of me, I can't. Ultimately I think it was a "happy accident" that came about during an afternoon of directionless browsing on the Internet. That or it was a recommended video that happened to come up on YouTube's homepage. Regardless of how I came across it, the point is that "The Words", a Sundance Film Festival release, grabbed my attention one afternoon and hasn't let go since.


Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper), an aspiring writer, has finally achieved the literary success he has strived to attain for years after coming across and publishing the "next great American novel". Rory's level of fame continues to rise until he meets an unassuming old man (Jeremy Irons) one afternoon in New York City's Central Park who recounts the story of his life to Rory and reveals that the work that has made Rory so famous is in fact something the old man had written himself many years ago. Faced with overwhelming disgrace and shame, Rory must confront the choices he made and live with the outcome.

The story behind "The Words" seemed to be relatively cut and dry, with only one noticeable irregularity. It was clear from the trailer who Bradley Cooper's character was and what he would go on to do, as well as what Zoe Saldana's, Ben Barnes', and Jeremy Irons' respective characters would potentially do throughout this movie. The two characters whose purpose didn't make much sense were those of Dennis Quaid's and Olivia Wilde's. Upon first viewing the theatrical trailer, it looked as if Clay (Quaid's character) was a friend or acquaintance of Rory, or possibly even an older depiction of Rory, and Daniella (Wilde) was either his daughter or just a questionable interaction.

After having just finished watching "The Words" I have a general supposition on who the character of Clay was, and a far more substantial idea on whom Daniella was. Now that I think back on it, this movie reminded me of Christopher Nolan's "Inception". Before you ask, no this movie doesn't involve invading someone's dreams or espionage. The two things that are similar are the interweaving layers of the overall story and the rather vague ending.

While I'm somewhat sure on just who Dennis Quaid's character was, it seems as if directors Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal wanted to leave the ending open to the viewer's interpretation. And while I normally would applaud such a choice, I have to restrain myself before I do. As interesting and engaging as "The Words" appeared to be, and it was very much both of those things for me personally, it was just a hair's breadth away from being as great as I wanted it to be. Perhaps as the days come and go I'll gain a better understanding of this movie's meaning.

As an amateur writer, I could easily relate to the choices and feelings that the character of Rory was confronted with. I've been working on a story of my own for a few months now, and do hope to become a published writer one day, whether it be with the project I'm currently working on or something else. I can relate to the feeling of wanting to be something or someone more; of being famous, recognized, and memorable. Doesn't every person want that at one point or another? The one thing I can say without a moment's hesitation is that the story I've been working on is wholly of my own creation, with some general ideas borrowed and changed from other authors. I personally can't stand plagiarism or those who choose to commit it.

But it was because of those feelings that I was able to connect with "The Words" as much as I did. Nearly everything in this movie, from the handful of performances that were focused on to the overarching moral of the story, was well done and gripping to an extent, but it was those minute inconsistencies that keeps me from praising, and rating, this movie higher than I have. If it hasn't been clear before now, I did enjoy what "The Words" had to offer, especially the song used in its theatrical trailer ("Demons" by Imagine Dragons) that I think has a hidden connection to this movie, but for myself I wish the intended message had been just a skosh or two clearer.

Again perhaps I'm reading too much into this, or vice versa, and maybe I'll have a better understanding of this movie and its message as the days ago by. For now, if you've seen an advertisement for this and haven't seen it yet, then I would recommend you see it. Who knows, maybe you'll come to a decision that will help enlighten me.

This was a review by tMG, thank you very much for reading.

Time For Swords!
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