The Pale Blue Eye (now on Netflix)
This crime mystery film is adapted from the 2003 novel of the same name. I haven’t read the book neither bothered to explore full details before going into this movie. I’m glad I went in with a fresh mind.
Set in the 1830s American winter, veteran detective Augustus Landor investigate series of grisly murders at West Point military academy with the help of a young cadet Edgar Allan Poe.
My oh my, this mystery thriller is such a well written piece adapted through a smartly crafted screenplay. I was not prepared for the surprise. I love it.
It is quite traditional and original, feels like what you’d want from a genuine crime mystery tale. It’s a gothic crime outfit which has the tone of ‘Sleepy Hollow’ (also my favourite).
You can hardly go wrong casting Christian Bale, one of my most respected actors. This man makes every role look simple and easy, yet impactful and moving. He carried this film with the charisma required of a lead role.
Harry Melling did great to bring to life Edgar Allan Poe who is a true life figure in the history of American crime stories.
At times, the plot seems to almost drown in its melancholic execution thereby losing its compelling touch. However, things come alive with the tension created whenever a murder occurs or a major reveal is made. The movie truly rewards the attention it demands and patience it draws from the audience.
The third act of this film is the best I have seen in recent times. I was thrilled and in fact had to give the film a second watch just to soak in its cerebral approach and intriguing effort to smart storytelling.
‘The Pale Blue Eye’ pushes that intriguing book-reading experience without losing the visual ingredients needed to drive a memorable movie adaptation. It’s the type that makes me enjoy watching movies.
Interesting story by the author Louis Bayard, brilliant screenplay by Scott Cooper, and surprisingly another laudable production acquisition by Netflix.
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Critic_orb’s rating: Excellent 76%