Steen: Not much to read between The Words

The Words might have been a wonderful film if the ending wasn’t so confusing.

There are lessons to be learned in this story about a struggling writer, Rory Jansen, played by Bradley Cooper (Hangover 1 & II).

As Jansen finds his sought-after fame, he realizes the price he pays for his mistake is almost unbearable. Can he be forgiven for seeing the end of his dream and trying to produce something that he could have never created himself, even at the cost to his morality?

This might have been a wonderful film if the ending wasn’t so confusing, and it might have been palatable if the story had been well “worded,” and it might have been satisfying if we even cared about the characters, but sadly: It was, it wasn’t and we didn’t.

What the show did provide was the realization that if you steal anything from anyone, you also steal part of their life, whether it’s an object, an idea or a story.

The Dennis Quaid character, Clay Hammond, is a mystery.  Is he an older version of Rory Jansen?  Is he writing his own words to right a wrong? Is he attempting to get richer by unveiling a deception?  We, the audience have no idea, and we are left in storyline limbo as the credits roll.

The cast also includes Jeremy Irons as the  “old man”—Irons is a true actor and his part is played to perfection; he looks and sounds like an old man and he’s mad as Hell.

There are several thought-provoking lines in this one. Here are a couple: “I’m not who I thought I was and I’m terrified that I never will be.”   This might be a thought that many of us have, but how many of us are willing to cross the ethical and moral line to get to who we thought we were?

And another line I liked: “We all make choices in life, the hard thing is to live with them.” Again another true statement, and that’s the show—not much depth, but some very pithy and insightful moments.

Despite the truly unsatisfactory ending and lackluster acting by everyone but Irons, this show was filled with life lessons.

It did lack, however, the spark that might have elicited some emotion from the audience—we really don’t much care about what happens to Jansen as much as we care that an old man has been cheated out of the story of  his life—but it has something.

Yes, it’s an odd film with an odd ending and everyone will have a different take on it. So, if you don’t expect award winning acting, it may be worth seeing, but don’t say I didn’t warn  you.

I give The Words two reels.

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