Wicker Park (2004)

As a preface, purely from the perspective of its directing, cinematography, and editing, Wicker Park is masterfully crafted.  Split screens, overlapping frames, shifting back and forth in time, and the use of flash-backs, just to name a few of the techniques used, is astonishing.  That’s wonderful if you’re using it in a film school, but the effect here is to take a bad story and make it unintelligible.

Wicker Park isn’t just awful, it’s infuriating.  In a nutshell, it’s a contrived, incomprehensible, labyrinthine, never-ending series of extraordinarily frustrating scenes that conclude in a manner such that you’ll have to restrain yourself from beating your TV to death with a baseball bat.

Mid-stream, the film transforms from a story about a guy obsessed with finding his lost love whom he thinks he’s spotted,  to one about a delusional psycho-stalker.  Now I understand that there’s a reason for this, but it get’s lost in time travel.  It’s virtually impossible to know if a scene is taking place today, in the recent past, or two years ago.  Flash-backs are used to explain how certain things ended up as they are at a given point in time, which can be an effective technique, but it can also be overkill.  Intertwined in that mess, the story of the guy searching for his lost love is frustrating beyond reason.  About the only gimmick not used is the one where the “searchor” walks into an elevator just as the “searchee” exits an adjacent one.  I think it does use the “tie your shoelace in a crowded airport just as the person looking for you turns in your direction” trick.

Needless to say, even though the film’s ending was not a surprise,  getting to that final moment was sometimes difficult to watch.  Hypothetically, and having nothing to do with this movie, do you think if your best friend knew you were going insane trying to find the love of your life, and she called when you were out, so he answered the phone, and she told him what time you should meet her at “the usual place,” that he’d wait until it was too late for you to get there on time to tell you?  Would you blame him if by the time he told you about her phone call it was nearly impossible to find an available taxi?  I’d answer “no” to both questions, but I digress.

Wicker Park is too ambitious for its own good.  My second paragraph says it all.


Please leave a comment.  I’d love to know what you think.

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