Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind

Movie Review by S Felce

Starring: Sam Rockwell, George Clooney, Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts
Director: George Clooney

What is most extraordinary about CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND is that, as crazy as it seems, it is actually based on an autobiography. Not only that, it is an ‘unauthorized autobiography’ of Chuck Barris, yet it is written by Chuck Barris – himself. Confused?

Barris is an American TV producer and host, famous (or infamous) for creating TV’s games such as THE DATING GAME (BLIND DATE in the UK). At one point in his career he locks himself up in a hotel room and starts writing the story of his life. He proclaims himself guilty of creating very stupid TV programmes, as well as killing thirty-three people as an undercover CIA agent.

Welcome to the crazy world of Chuck Barris! And welcome to the crazy world of Charlie Kaufman, George Clooney and Sam Rockwell, who fitted so well in his ‘dangerous mind’ that they were able to create one of the most surprising films of the year. Kaufman, who is usually the one who creates bizarre stories, this time only had to sit down and basically, just adapt Barris’ book. However, he doesn’t fail and produces an excellent script, which contributes to the sparkle of the story and gives life to the characters. Clooney, here in his directorial debut, is really good. He loves the story and plays with it and with his characters, showing a fine knowledge of film techniques. But the big surprise has to be Sam Rockwell who plays Chuck Barris. This is his first lead role and his performance is just brilliant. Rockwell is able to convey the versatility of his character and when he’s on screen, you don’t see anybody else.

CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND really seems to have just come out from Barris’ twisted brain, as the viewer can never be sure if it is a real story, or if he is just daydreaming. In one scene, Barris is going to a meeting with a CIA agent. With the ease of James Bond, he makes his way through complete strangers’ houses, going from flat to flat using the doors or the windows. He enters somebody’s bathroom, where, while the surprised owner is shaving in front of the mirror, a man comes out from a cupboard and gives him new clothes.

Is it a dream? Is it only his imagination? Or is he really as crazy as he seems? Never mind about that. The movie doesn’t want to answer the question neither. It is just a journey into this man’s life, deep from inside his mind, and it never fails to seduce and entertain.

Drew Barrymore plays Barris’ girlfriend, while Julia Roberts is the beautiful CIA agent who works with him. George Clooney, complete with moustache, is the CIA handler and watch out for the cameos from Brad Pitt and Matt Damon as THE DATING GAME contestants.

CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND is the story of a man’s rise and fall, but it is the most bizarre and out of the ordinary tale one could ever imagine!

5 out of 6 stars