"No Talking Necessary"
Directed by Michael Radford
Written by James Siegel
Music by Mark Isham
Clive Owen (Samuel Davis/Adam)
Rachael Taylor (Laura)
Gerard Butler (Marcus Stark/Jake)
Kate Winslet (Karen Davis)
Dennis Quaid (Gregory Reed/Owen)
Michelle Monaghan (Brenda Bassett/Misty)
James Woods (Detective Matthew Fanning)
Tagline: "During One Night Stands, Talking Isn’t Necessary"
Synopsis: Samuel Davis (Clive Owen) has been married to his wife Karen (Kate Winslet) for five boring yet loving years with the job of a wealthy Wall Street accountant for nine. While Samuel contemplates divorce, it was after he was diagnosed with a possibly fatal illness, he develops an undying gratitude to Karen who was at his bedside for more than three months; rejuvenating their marriage. But, this was three years ago.
Bored again with work and life, he is looking for adventure and the opportunity comes knocking at his door, literally, from his new business partner Marcus Stark (Gerard Butler). Wealthy at a young age from his own business; Marcus is fearless and smart, a deadly combination.
About to close a multi-million dollar deal with the eccentric Marcus; Marcus first wants to take Sam out for a night on the town. They arrive at an alleyway door labeled, “The Bloom”, a sex club.
The rules are simple, don’t ask, don’t tell. No talking necessary. No talking is allowed about personal, family or work life both ways. Reluctant but ready to give it a shot, Samuel takes on the persona of Adam and Marcus becomes Jake. Seeing some work partners like broker Gregory Reed (Dennis Quaid) who is Owen and Secretary Brenda Bassett (Michelle Monaghan) who is now Misty; Samuel is shocked to see these ordinary people and after an awkward conversation, he assumes that they are surprised to see him there too.
As Marcus goes with a dirty blonde “named” Dakota, Samuel takes the other blonde, Laura (Rachael Taylor). Sweating and nervous, the night gets off with a bang and ends with one too. After the intercourse, Samuel can only feel horrible remorse and confession. Wanting to leave as quickly as possible, he darts out of the nearest exit, but stumbles upon a bleeding Gregory.
Unsure what happened, the pool of blood is expanding quickly and in between seizures all that Gregory can say is Jake; Marcus’ “other” name. Trying to resuscitate him, Samuel ultimately fails and out of sheer nervousness takes off.
Escaping the scene before the police arrive, Brenda catches Samuel while exiting the club. Samuel explains the events to his memory and Brenda half-heartedly believes him, not having a reason not to, Samuel always being honest. Swearing each other to secrecy that the event never happened, they both walk. The next day at work Samuel is interrupted by Detective Matthew Fanning (James Woods) who questions Samuel about Gregory’s body found in the morning. Brenda and Samuel comprehending the new situation they believe someone may be framing them for murder. Assuming it was Marcus; the theory is too vague and if he admits it, then the cops will know that he lied to them.
Anxiously coming home to his wife after work, Samuel looks as if he has seen a ghost. Laura is sitting on his sofa in his house. Karen tells him that she is an old high school friend that just moved into town, seeing her for the past week. Samuel realizing that she knows his real identity believes she is the one that murdered Gregory after finding out that things were left at the crime came from his own home; someone needing inside access to take.
Not able to ask Karen about Laura without giving away his were-about, he goes back to “The Bloom” trying to find information. Needing to be sneaky to not ask questions that fall under the stringent policy, Samuel is in for a challenge. The first night he meets with Maggie and the second night, Kate, both not claiming to know Laura or her ever working there. The third night he meets with Dakota, the same one Marcus spent the night with and she claims that she never saw him there before that night and he never came back.
Down trotted, on his way home he spots Marcus and Laura at a nearby café, with him handing her what looks like his palm pilot. Frightened, containing just about every piece of information to him, Samuel races back to work to see if it is missing and at the office, Brenda is sitting at his desk snooping, changing, sending and deleting files from his computer.
Not knowing what is going on, Samuel understands he is in a game MUCH larger than himself and that Marcus and Laura are his best leads to solving the mystery. However, he wonders if it is all a trap with the many coincidences. Not knowing what they are after or even want to THINK about what they are after, he decides he must come clean to his wife. When he arrives home though, he notices that both cars are gone, his house ransacked and his wife missing. His bank accountant is empty and all of the cash in his house is gone. Unsure if his wife is hurt or part of this elaborate conspiracy, frightened Samuel must leave to find out what is happening. However, things are delayed when Detective Fanning and a police squad stand outside Samuel’s house to arrest him for the murder of Gregory Reed.
What the Press would say:
“Two thumbs WAY up!”-Ebert & Roeper
“Sexy, Thrilling, and Mysterious, you won’t be able to “Talk” when it’s over!”- People
“A+! Best thriller in ages.”-Entertainment Weekly
“I came out with my knuckles white and my blood rushing.”-Rolling Stone Magazine
In this confusing but ultimately rewarding conspiracy thriller drama, not everyone is who they appear to be. Two-time Oscar nominee Michael Radford directs the complex picture with aplomb and skill that will be enough to get him his third nomination and if not win. Radford uses a mixture of hand-held and steady-cam shots. In a movie with a fair share of nudity, he makes none of it seem gratuitous, but rather another piece in the large and intricate puzzle.
New York Times Bestselling author James Siegel takes his first stab at writing a screenplay and it is a huge success. Siegel writes conspiracy theory stories that are filled with twists and turns on every single page. The same goes for this film with many rousing spitfires.
Clive Owen who starred in one of Siegel’s book adaptations stars in this as a man thrust into a confusing game that he doesn’t have the first clue at playing. The audience feels the same as our main character but understands as he does too, making the film a unique and shared experience. Handling the role wisely, you feel empathy and remorse for him, playing an upstanding citizen and husband, even though he has made some mistakes.
Gerard Butler is spectacular as Marcus who is a person with more shades of colors than a box of Crayola’s in his best role to date. Quaid shines in his small part and Woods is fantastic as the detective who somewhat believes Samuel, not what typically happens in most films, even if he thinks he has it all figured out.
“Transformers” hottie, Rachael Taylor gets an even bigger break as Laura as a character that is stone-cold and you can never guess what she will do next. Meticulously going through her enthralling lines and never showing a moment of weakness, Taylor is certainly the next big thing.
Kate Winslet is terrific as always and maybe this time she will finally “win” the coveted prize. Winslet plays the role in a way that you never are able to guess if she is a part of the game or just trapped in it like Samuel, which makes it thrilling, especially with the meaty dialogue she swiftly chews through.
Michelle Monaghan is fabulous as the secretary playing in a boy’s game. Even with a smaller part she still makes just as big as an impression in one of the most confusing roles, after she is seen on Samuel’s computer.
While one can go on and on about how spectacular “NO TALKING NECESSARY” is, one can only truly grasp the wonder one has in no other way than seeing it again and again and again.
Best Director: Michael Radford
Best Screenplay: James Siegel
Best Original Score: Mark Isham
Best Actor: Clive Owen
Best Supporting Actor: Gerard Butler, James Woods
Best Actress: Rachael Taylor
Best Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet, Michelle Monaghan