DARK HARBOR (1999)
Rickman, Polly Walker, Norman Reedus
N. Hart, Jr, Jeffrey Sharp, Justin Lazard
Plot: As David (Alan Rickman) and Alexis Weinberg (Polly Walker)
race through a torrential downpour to catch the last ferry home,
Alexis spies someone collapsing by the roadside. Against his better
judgment, David reverses and they get out to check the stranger.
They end up taking him as far as the ferry before parting ways.
However, fate throws the trio together again. Undercurrents of
tension swirl between the three and things build to a horrific
Comment: The film starts off with all the brooding and
menacing threat that overhangs Alfred Hitchcock's greater films,
although the editing is a bit merciless, creating a choppy feel
to the film instead of letting it flow. However, half way through
the film, the plot begins to unravel - literally - and one wonders
if Coleman had a great idea, managed to get funding etc. for the
film - and didn't quite have the ending sussed out...
Polly Walker was marvelous as the WASP wife of David Weinberg,
the real one with money and power. Her luminosity lit up the screen
like all the great Hitchcock women, Kim Novak, Tippy Hedren...
If anyone was considering remaking a Hitchcock classic, then she
should be considered a prime candidate (although, I personally
think Hitchcock made his films perfect the first time...). Walker
hides nothing, and as Alexis' life unravels, her collapse is beautifully
echoed through Walker.
I can't imagine what Norman Reedus was trying to achieve, beyond
the fact he had all the personality and on screen chemistry of
a cold fish, when interacting with David and Alexis Weinberg .
This rather meant that although he looked the part as a bum wandering
the Maine countryside, his character's ongoing interaction with
the Weinbergs has a bit of an unreal atmosphere to it. Anyone
in their right mind would have ditched him at the ferry and tried
to avoid all contact thereafter!
David Weinberg is portrayed by Alan Rickman with an American
accent. Personally, an American accent coming from Rickman's vocal
chords reduces the power and performance of this great actor -
or so it seems in this film... Rickman's portrayal of David Weinberg
is excellent and risqué, but when the plot fell apart...
I'm not sure Rickman's portrayal of David Weinberg became robotic
because Rickman couldn't believe in the actions of his character
or this was how Weinberg was portrayed in Coleman's mind as he
wrote the script. Either way, it makes for rather painful watching
as the plot and film stumble towards the 'twist' at the end.
It's hard to recommend this film to anyone but fans of the three
main cast members. The first half of the film is thoroughly enjoyable
and had a lot of potential. The second half deteriorates, although
Alan Rickman and Polly Walker do their best. It's one of those
films that ends up frustrating one as it could have been excellent
with better editing and a bit more thought into devising a better