One Hour Photo

March 1st, 2003 Film, Film Reviews, Filmink

After three decades of sweet, funny and at times boringly nice characters ranging from Mork from Ork (Mork & Mindy) to the Genie (Aladdin) to Patch Adams — including several Oscar-worthy turns — Robin Williams has found a new face as the soft-spoken maniac. What’s weird is, he didn’t even have to change the old one.

After his abrupt about-face in Insomnia, One Hour Photo explores the possibility of Williams as a modern day Dr Crippen fully — sad, lonely, obsessive and chilling. Not since Psycho has a film so successfully conveyed the mind of a madman.

Williams is Sy Parrish, the kind, soft-spoken operator of a photo minilab. Obsessed with the charming Yorkin family — whose films he’s been developing for years — he’s harboured fantasies of insinuating himself into their lives for just as long, and when he finally learns that things aren’t so picture perfect for the Yorkins, he finally cracks.

After giving in to his tortured mind, Williams is about as scary as canned asparagus. But until then, the masterful film making technique, brooding and tense music and artful way Williams uses his face and body to portray psychotic detachment from normality are the creepiest thing you’ve seen on screen for ages.


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