Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Ninth Gate (5 Stars)

What's Roman Polanski's best film? Some would answer "Rosemary's Baby". Others would say "The Pianist". They're both excellent choices, but I disagree. I believe that "The Ninth Gate" stands out above all of his other films. It's a supernatural story, but it also has lots of action. It's a very well written film. From the opening scenes on it's emphasised that Dean Corso, played by Johnny Depp, is an unscrupulous bad guy, but we still feel sympathy for him and want him to succeed in his investigations.

Dean Corso carries out detective work, but he's a book detective. Has that ever been the subject of any other film? Boris Balkan, a millionaire book collector in New York, has recently acquired a copy of "The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows", an extremely rare 17th Century book. He suspects his book might be a forgery, so he hires Dean to compare it with the only other two copies known to exist. One copy is in Portugal, the other in France. It might seem like a simple job, but he finds that people are willing to kill him to get their hands on the book he's carrying with him.

This is one of my favourite ever films, in my top 20 at least. I can't praise it highly enough. I also think it's Johnny Depp's best performance.

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