You hear the whisk of those typical department store doors. A stale sterilized whiff of air hits your nostrils.
You swallow in a gulp as you see scurrying bargain hunters rooting around. You turn to your left as you hear the “elevator music” version of the “Girl from Ipanema”.
You see a daft man wearing a name tag marked Phil and a glass booth behind him.
The room behind him looks like they take care of “radioactive medical waste” then deal with family snapshots. This is your destination, the photolab.
In the new movie, Robin Williams plays a guy similar to Phil but instead in this film his name is Seymour Parrish. Parrish is a quiet self-absorbed man who lives vicariously through the photos he develops.
Parrish has a particular fondness for a middle-class family that consists of Nina Yorkin (Gladiator’s Connie Nielsen) and Will Yorkin (Michael Vartan of TV’s Alias).
Parrish’s fascination is quite innocent at first but a traumatic event in the family’s life brings Parrish deep into a twisted obsession.
Robin Williams’ very strong performance is the showcase of the film. He is Parrish and we believe it. I loved Williams’ mannerisms and twitches which accented his very creepy tendencies to another level.
The film itself is hard to watch in places because it’s just too twisted or creepy. The film does tend to meander around the same point at times.
For me there wasn’t any real suspense or tension. The film was just there.
Vartan and Nielsen are good supporting actors but I never saw chemistry between them as a couple. The only real chemistry was displayed in the photos Parrish looks at and that is realized through his eyes not the couple.
“One Hour Photo” will give you the willies and leave you looking at photo-lab technicians in a different light but that’s about all.
The showcase of this film is Williams’ performance.
(3 out of 5)
So Says the Soothsayer.