One Hour Photo

By Brett Mullins

Released: 2002

Written and Directed by Mark Romanek

Sy Parrish is a man that everyone is happy to see: a friendly, cheerful middle aged store clerk that develops photos at the local supermarket. Beneath this front lurks a dark obsession with a family that frequents the store. As the walls break down between fiction and reality, Sy’s world spins out of control.

Robin Williams portrays Sy in what could be described as one of the more convincing performances of his career. At first glance, Sy is disturbingly normal; however, through an amalgam of subtleties, the audience moves to fear him from quite a sinister perspective. The dark atmosphere is permeated with moments of pure anxiety as Sy finds himself in several awkward circumstances. Though some moments are cringe inducing, the audience is compelled to continue viewing.

This film plays on the audiences emotions for psychologically troubled individuals. Should one feel compassion or contempt for Sy? It appears that this is the theme that director Mark Romanek is getting at.

One Hour Photo is an excellent psychological thriller and one of Robin William’s best.

Rating: 8/10

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