F i l m r e v i e w
“The Ninth Gate”
Director : Roman Polanski
Cast : Johnny Deep, Emmanuelle Seigner, Frank Langella
Theme : Wojciech Kilar
Books are malignant, contemplating those which deal with sinister, mysterious even demonic forces, in particular. This conclusion is likely to be gleaned from “The Ninth Gate”, a skilful adaptation of Arturo Perez-Revente novel : El Club Dumas. With its utterly breathtaking, engrossing narrative, Roman Polanski makes a conscious nod towards his previous picture : Rosemary’s Baby, principally its occult denouement.
The movie gives only some “setup” to establish the characters and explain the situation. The story is mainly set in old world location of Spain, France or Portugal, presenting narrow, typically South European’s streets and archetypal architecture. A starring cast significantly contributes to the film eerie atmosphere.
Dean Corso (Johnny Deep, as an unscrupulous rare book dealer), an anti-heroic protagonist appears merely a quiescent participator of a storyline, caught out by circumstances. It is a supporting co-star, Emmanuelle Seigner (by the way Ms. Polanski), the nameless mystifying, green-eyed Girl, who steadily takes over a leading role in the movie. Corso, in his search and investigation on the manual of satanic invocation, published in 1666 “The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of the Shadows”, experiences inexplicable, perplexing powers, presumably linked with the co-author of the volume – the Satan himself.
Corso’s cynical stance on his profession evolves and alters and as a plot glides towards the end yet blurred metaphors still loom in a distance.
Although a pitch of intensity is maintained throughout the picture an action is far from whirlwind speed and sometimes even quite predictable. A film fan may even spot some rather comical special effects. Nevertheless the film still remains gripping and thrilling.
In my opinion the movie is worth seeing with...