THE OTHER MAN
Is the Truth Worth Knowing?
Release Date: September 11, 2009
Starring: Liam Neeson, Antonio Banderas,
Laura Linney, and Romola Garai
Runtime: 90 minutes
Distributor: Image Entertainment
Director: Richard Eyre
Executive Producer: David Richenthal, Mary Beth
O’Connor, Richard Eyre, and
Producer: Tracey Scoffield, Frank
Doelger, and Michael Dreyer
Writer: Richard Eyre and Charles Wood
Address Comments To:Martin W. Greenwald, Chairman
20525 Nordhoff Street, Suite 200
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Phone: (818) 407-9100
Fax: (818) 678-5076
The story opens on middle-aged businessman Peter (played by Liam Neeson), who appears to have a good marriage with his wife, Lisa (played by Laura Linney). Then, Peter discovers a message on her phone from a mysterious man interested in reviving a past adulterous relationship. Shocked, outraged and vengeful, Peter begins to investigate his wife’s apparent past affair.
Using her phone and laptop as starting points in his search for the “other” man, he tries to gain access to a private file on her laptop. He succeeds in doing so, only to find photographs of her and a man named Ralph (played by Antonio Banderas). Also in the file, he discovers emails sent back and forth between her and Ralph during the time of their affair, along with a recent email from Ralph trying to contact her because he wants to revive their relationship.
Interested in learning the truth about his wife and this man Ralph, Peter begins to email Ralph while pretending to be his wife Lisa in order to gain more information. He even enlists a co-worker to track down Ralph’s home address in Milan. Upon learning this information and against the pleadings of his estranged daughter, Abigail (played by Romola Garai), Peter travels to Italy and befriends Ralph without revealing his identity, all the while continuing to send emails to Ralph under the guise of his wife, Lisa. His efforts to keep his identity a secret become increasingly difficult as his anger and vengefulness grows.
THE OTHER MAN takes a couple of twists toward the end where Peter finally reveals himself to Ralph, and the audience learns what actually happened to Lisa. In the end, Peter decides to forgive his wife even though he might not understand the reasons for her actions. He also decides to forgive Ralph. He even goes a step further and works to mend his tense relationship with his daughter.
THE OTHER MAN, though developed on a smaller budget, contains decent production values with commendable character portrayals by the actors. The plot seems a bit jumpy at times, and the actions of the characters aren’t always fully explained, which may indicate a need for better character development by the writers. It is also left ambiguous as to whether the wife regretted her adulterous affair, although it is clear she intends for her husband to eventually discover the truth.
Although THE OTHER MAN contains some redemptive, moral content with Peter forgiving his wife and Ralph, and even reconciling with his daughter, the movie’s sexual content and pagan elements keep the movie from being as wholesome and rewarding as it could have been.
THE OTHER MAN, despite a smaller budget, contains decent production values with fine acting. The plot seems a bit jumpy at times. Also, the actions of the characters aren’t always fully explained, which may indicate a need for better character development by the writers. The script is also ultimately ambiguous as to whether the wife regretted her adulterous affair, although it’s clear she wants her husband to discover the truth eventually. The movie has redemptive, moral content, including forgiveness and reconciliation, but its sexual content and pagan elements keep it from being more wholesome.