One Hour Photo

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan, Gary Cole, Eriq La Salle

Director: Mark Romanek

Robin Williams stars in this strangely sinister movie as Sy, an assistant on a supermarket photo developing counter. Sy is a loner, he has no friends and family of his own and he’s worked at the same job for years with only his own thoughts and fantasies for company. His job, as routine as it might be, is his life and over the years he has developed an unhealthy interest in a particular family whom he perceives as his ideal family unit and in his mind adopts them as his own, keeping copies of the numerous films that they have developed. Eventually though his habit of processing copies causes discrepancies in the supermarket figures and he is fired. This traumatic shock to his already unbalanced mind coincides with his discovery that his ideal, adopted family has its own problems, which sets him off on a psychotic path endangering the unsuspecting family.

ONE HOUR PHOTO seems to be very slow going while it established its characters but it does slowly build to create tension and anticipation to its dramatic climax. Robin Williams is given plenty of time to explore his strange role, which he does admirably, even to ‘Oscar winning’ depths. Connie Nielson also turns in a good performance as the family wife and mother but his is so much a ‘Robin Williams’ film that everyone else is simply overshadowed. The trouble is Williams’ character is so sad and depressing that the film can’t really be described as enjoyable in any way although may be that’s intentional.

Also the final climax of the movie lacks some impact adding to a slightly let-down feeling. While the acting is excellent Robin Williams’ character is jut too over developed and even at only an hour and a half there are a few too many frames in this exposure!

3 out of 6 stars