Sudipta Dey


Film: The Tourist
Cast: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Rating: Good

What would you expect from a romantic thriller that has two most popular actors of all time as the lead, an Academy award winning director and Paris, Italy and Venice as the backdrop?
The Tourist has Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp pitted against each other, where the former plays an under-cover agent (again) and the latter is a Maths teacher from Wisconsin, an average Joe.
The plot revolves around Jolie’s character, Elise, who is apparently chasing her former lover, who also happens to be an elusive gangster, Alexander Pearce. On his instructions sent through a letter, she picks up a random tourist who looks somewhat like him to evade Interpole, and that’s when the real story begins.
The film revolves around the same plot that we have seen in many such films about mistaken identities (like the more recent Knight And Day). Jolie, like most of her films, has the action-seeking streak in her, and Depp is the victim of circumstances.
The plot has nothing great to it. It has a lot of flaws, that could have been avoided. But the massive starcast makes up for it. Apart from the two American superstars — Jolie and Depp, the film has Paul Bettany as Inspector John Acheson chasing the duo, Timothy Dalton as the Chief Inspector Jones who only appears in phases, Rufus Sewell as the mysterious man who claims to be Alexander Pearce on the insistence of an unknown man.
British actor Paul Bettany, who is more popularly known for his characters in The Beautiful Mind, A Knight’s Tale and Da Vinci Code, has done a decent job as the frustrated inspector chasing Pearce for over two years. His character could have had more meat, if the director (who has also co-written the film) paid a bit more attention to characterisation, something which is expected from a director who won the best foreign film in 2007 for Lives of Other.
Though the film has a mixed starcast, it has a distinct European romantic vibe to it, with most of the beauty lent by the picturesque setting of Venice and Paris.
Jolie looks simply gorgeous is her diva avatar, as she is seen mostly in gorgeous designer dresses throughout the film unlike in her other action films. Depp is his usual suave self.
The script should have given more time to make the love angle between Jolie and Depp a bit more convincing. There are a few witty dialogues exchanged between the two, which are crisp and at times funny, but those could only be credited to Jolie and Depp’s acting prowess.
If you don’t pay too much attention to the story and script, the film is worth a watch, specially for the actors and the beautifully captured Venice, the city of lovers.