Based on a True Story (2017): The Shocking Truth Behind a Bestselling Novel
Based on a True Story (2017) Movie Review
Based on a True Story is a 2017 French psychological thriller directed by Roman Polanski and co-written by Olivier Assayas. It stars Emmanuelle Seigner as Delphine, a successful writer who suffers from writer's block and becomes obsessed with an enigmatic fan named Elle (Eva Green). The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Delphine de Vigan.
In this review, I will give my opinion on the movie's plot, acting, direction, and themes. I will also compare it with other movies that deal with similar topics. I will rate the movie out of 10 stars and give some recommendations for who might enjoy it.
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The plot of Based on a True Story is intriguing and suspenseful, but also confusing and implausible at times. The movie follows Delphine as she struggles to write her next book after the success of her previous one, which was based on her personal life. She meets Elle, a charming and mysterious woman who claims to be a ghostwriter and offers to help her with her writing. Elle soon becomes Delphine's confidante and friend, but also her manipulator and tormentor. Elle tries to take over Delphine's life by copying her style, invading her privacy, isolating her from her friends and family, and even impersonating her online. Delphine becomes paranoid and dependent on Elle, who seems to know everything about her past and present.
The movie keeps the audience guessing about Elle's motives and identity throughout. Is she a real person or a figment of Delphine's imagination? Is she a fan or a stalker? Is she trying to help or harm Delphine? The movie does not provide clear answers to these questions, leaving room for interpretation and speculation. However, some of the twists and turns in the plot are hard to believe and lack logic. For example, how does Elle manage to access Delphine's email and social media accounts without her noticing? How does she know so much about Delphine's family history? How does she convince Delphine's boyfriend and publisher that she is Delphine? The movie does not explain these details well enough, making the plot less credible and convincing.
The acting in Based on a True Story is one of the strongest aspects of the movie. Emmanuelle Seigner and Eva Green deliver excellent performances as Delphine and Elle respectively. They have great chemistry on screen and create a tense and captivating dynamic between their characters. Seigner portrays Delphine's vulnerability, insecurity, and confusion with subtlety and nuance. She makes us sympathize with her character's plight and feel her fear and frustration. Green portrays Elle's charisma, intelligence, and malice with flair and intensity. She makes us fascinated by her character's mystery and unpredictability.
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The supporting cast is also good in their roles, although they have less screen time than the two leads. Vincent Perez plays François, Delphine's boyfriend who is often away on business trips. He tries to support Delphine but also grows suspicious of Elle's influence on her. Dominique Direction
The direction of Based on a True Story is also impressive and noteworthy. Roman Polanski is a renowned and controversial filmmaker who has made many acclaimed movies in his career, such as Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown, and The Pianist. He is known for his skillful use of suspense, atmosphere, and symbolism in his movies. He applies these techniques to Based on a True Story as well, creating a gripping and stylish movie that explores the themes of identity, creativity, and obsession.
Polanski uses various cinematic elements to enhance the mood and tone of the movie. For example, he uses close-ups, low angles, and slow zooms to create a sense of claustrophobia and intimacy between the characters. He also uses dark colors, shadows, and mirrors to create a sense of mystery and ambiguity. He also uses music and sound effects to create tension and contrast. For example, he uses classical music to accompany the scenes of Delphine's writing process, while he uses eerie noises and silence to accompany the scenes of Elle's intrusion into Delphine's life.
The themes of Based on a True Story are interesting and relevant to the contemporary society and culture. The movie explores the issues of identity, creativity, and obsession in the context of the literary world and the social media era. The movie raises questions such as: What is the role of the writer in the society? How does the writer balance between fiction and reality? How does the writer deal with fame and criticism? How does the writer cope with writer's block and pressure? How does the writer protect their privacy and authenticity?
The movie also explores the issues of identity, creativity, and obsession in the context of the relationship between Delphine and Elle. The movie raises questions such as: What is the nature of friendship and admiration? How does one influence and inspire another? How does one manipulate and control another? How does one become dependent and addicted to another? How does one lose their sense of self and reality?
Based on a True Story can be compared with other movies that deal with similar topics of identity, creativity, and obsession. For example, it can be compared with Misery (1990), a movie based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. It is about a famous writer who is kidnapped by a fan who forces him to write a novel according to her wishes. It can also be compared with The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), a movie based on Patricia Highsmith's novel of the same name. It is about a young man who befriends a wealthy expatriate and tries to take over his identity. It can also be compared with Black Swan (2010), a movie directed by Darren Aronofsky. It is about a ballet dancer who becomes obsessed with perfection and loses her sanity.
In conclusion, Based on a True Story is a well-made and captivating movie that offers a thrilling and thought-provoking experience for the viewers. It has a strong plot, acting, direction, and themes that keep the audience engaged and intrigued throughout. It also has some flaws that make it less believable and convincing at times. I would rate this movie 8 out of 10 stars and recommend it to anyone who likes psychological thrillers or movies about writers.
Who directed Based on a True Story?Roman