ROMAN POLANSKI – JOHNNHY DEPP – THE NINTH GATE – 1999
A small film with a rather big
budget travelling from New York to Spain (more or less not famous places) and to
of course. A film about the Devil or Satan or Lucifer had to be produced in the
satanic year 1-999, just before the diabolical new millennium.
Apart from that the plot is so light
we could think it was bought as a premium in a barrel of washing powder. The
only interesting element is the suspenseful editing that makes the film have good
rhythm. But the rhythm of the editing is not enough to make a good film.
Clichés upon clichés. The best
ones are the baroness in a wheel chair with a “secretary” that looks like a
prison warden and goes out in the morning to buy oranges. The younger desk
clerk in a four or five stars hotel in Paris
who is authorizing a woman to go to the main character’s room because she
claims to be his wife. The concierge will apologize later on but it will be too
late. I guess that younger desk clerk had not gone through the proper
The best cliché is the fact that
the devil is a woman, white of course and blonde of course again. She is s
devilish person obviously since she can move around without any means of
transportation except thin air. But she
is the excuse for Polanski to put some female flesh on the screen. He is a lot
more modest about male flesh. Why did he get Johnny Depp then? A fatso like Depardieu
would have been just alright, and a lot more impressive.
Johnny Depp is underused indeed. He
is static, unexpressive, cold like a slithering snake, badly dressed and hardly
Well enjoy it if you can. I guess
with a good shot of vodka maybe. . .
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU