Like watching paint dry … by numbers

2008-02-01 00:00

ADDING up random sequences of numbers to reach a particular answer is a popular brain teaser. In this film by Joel Schumacher, the number is 23. The titles show all sorts of dates that supposedly add up to 23, like the date of the Hiroshima bombing, of Hitler's suicide, of Caesar's assassination etc. Of course, dates that don't work are simply omitted. Like any conspiracy theory, you pay attention to what supports it and ignore the stuff that doesn't.

The film is shot in a washed-out, gloomy palette - both “real life” and the film noir fantasy interludes looking rather similar. Of course, every number you see adds up to 23, which provides a spark of interest in the background, but I'm afraid that watching Sparrow read the book agonisingly slowly was a bit like watching paint dry - he doesn't catch on to “Topsy Kretts” until it is explained to him …

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