As easy to learn as your
By Geronimo Rodriguez
Daily Cougar Staff
What with Barbet Schroeder's directing
effort and Sandra Bullock's different approach to portraying female characters,
Murder by Numbers is a
worthy film, but there are two aspects
that, if avoided, could have made the crime thriller better.
Audiences could have waited until the end
to be walked through the murder, and there's no reason to wrap up the story
with gunplay and
Director Barbet Schroeder delivered these
scenes well, but why can't filmmakers or film writers do away with the
anticipated gun scenes in the
Who still actually wonders which character,
the good or the bad, is going to get shot?
But seriously, someone should kill the
good character in the end to freshen it up a bit.
Aside from these aspects of the film, Schroeder
strays from the stylistic maneuvers and quirky background music usually
used in such films
and brings his dry, realistic approach
to the film.
Another thing — when there's a mediocre
plot, it's always best to employ an established director such as Schroeder.
The veteran director was nominated for
an Academy Award for his effort in 1990's Reversal of Fortune.
For most, Bullock is always a delight to
see. The actress, who often brings a unique quality to the women characters
she portrays, plays a keen
detective who enjoys drinking and sleeping
In a way, it's almost as if Bullock, who
is executive producer of this and many of her other films, makes her own
roles in an industry filled with
glamorous faces. For her and her audience,
it has been a good thing.
Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt also play
their roles well. With Murder, they were asked to fill a role that isn't
often found in typical films involving
Their friendship is emotionally unstable
and pretty realistic considering they are accused of cold-blooded murder.
Gosling and Pitt play Richard, a popular
teen, and Justin, an unknown intellectual, respectively. Both characters
are too wealthy for their own
When they form this pact to explore murder
and its consequences, the two meet Detective Mayweather (Bullock) and her
partner (Ben Chaplin). From here, the
film turns into inquisitions and ways in which one can outsmart another.
At best, Murder by Numbers is just that.
Enjoy the directing and acting, but don't anticipate an overwhelming story.