Gautaman Bhaskaran
an indian journalist
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Other Movies


After the Sunset – Diamonds and love: Review

Brett Ratner’s 2004 “After the Sunset” (released in India in April 2006) reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterly jewellery-heist drama, “To Catch a Thief”. Hitchcock’s glamorous setting in the French Riviera matches with Ratner’s locale of breathtaking Bahamas. And, stepping into Cary Grant’s shoes is Pierce Brosnan, who desperately tries here to shake (not stir) out of his Bond image.

Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek
Arguably the most impressive Bond after Sean Connery, Brosnan sports in Ratner’s work a salt-and-pepper stubble, crumpled clothes and a bored look, which unfortunately does not seem to light up even during his passionate moments in bed with Salma Hayek. Somehow, the chemistry between these two lovers, partners in stealing priceless diamonds, does not work, and Hayek has little to offer except her cleavage and wriggling bottoms.

The storyline is not impressive either: Max (Brosnan) and Lola (Hayek) decide to retire after they have stolen the Second Napolean Diamond, and what better place could they find other than the Bahamas, where the sea, sunsets and sex washed down with colourful cocktails should have made living a dizzying experience. Instead, Max looks so disinclined and disinterested that he might have well been a clerk pushing dusty files in a dingy government office.

Hayek – when she is not seducing Max, is busy sawing wood to extend her terrace to a point which will allow the couple to watch the sun sink beyond the waves.

But with every sunset, Max’s tedium grows, and he itches to lay his hands not on Lola, but on some precious stone. The sailing in of a luxury liner carrying Napoleon’s Third Diamond provides a thrilling opportunity for Max to start prowling again.

Max and Lola find themselves in the company of FBI agent Stan (Woody Harrelson) and local superwoman cop Sophie (Naomie Harris). Stan, beaten by Max for many years, believes that he is still up to his old tricks of committing the perfect of robberies with the most unquestionable of alibis.

But, “After the Sunset” sags between dawn and dusk, and barring one chase at the beginning, the film does not even provide much excitement. Littered with incredibly stupid situations and convenient coincidences, this Ratter movie will disappoint Brosnan fans and those keen on intelligent cinema.

(This review appeared in The Hindu dated April 14 2006)

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