“Ghost Writer” full of ominous surprises
Dan Culberson | Mar 24, 2010
The Ghost Writer is a political thriller of the first order with a contemporary subject and characters designed to make the audience identify them with real people in international politics.
Roman Polanski received the award for best director at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival for this film, which is as good as–if not better than–his 1968 Rosemary’s Baby and the 1974 Chinatown.
The story begins with a ferryboat crossing from an island off Massachusetts to the mainland, but when it arrives, one automobile is left on the boat and no one claims it.
Then when a man’s body is found washed up on the shore of the island, the authorities determine it was either a suicide or an accident.
The man was the ghost writer of the memoirs of Adam Lang, a former prime minister of Great Britain who lives in a mansion on the island.
However, the publisher of the book has invested $10 million on the manuscript, and so another ghost writer is hired for $250,000 to finish the book and deliver it in a month.
The new ghost writer is played by Ewan McGregor, and when he expresses some concern about the death of the first writer, his agent says, “Accident, suicide, who cares? It was the book that killed him.”
McGregor arrives at the prime minister’s estate, which is under tight security, and is shown the manuscript, which cannot be removed or copied. After examining it, he proclaims that all the words are there, but just in the wrong order.
Then Lang himself shows up at the estate. He is played by Pierce Brosnan, and McGregor interviews him to learn some interesting details about his life, such as why he got into politics in the first place, especially since he had seemed to be more interested in acting while at college.
A media circus suddenly erupts when Lang is accused of handing over prisoners to the CIA for torture when he was prime minister, and now the publisher wants the finished manuscript in two weeks.
Not only that, but the ghost writer’s hotel room was searched while he was away, he suddenly encounters suspicious people, and he has to move onto the estate, where he is put in the first ghost writer’s room.
The Ghost Writer is full of ominous surprises.