“Deception” (2008 film)
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Deception is a 2008 drama/thriller film, directed by Marcel Langenegger and written by Mark Bomback. It stars Ewan McGregor, Hugh Jackman, and Michelle Williams. The film was released on April 25, 2008 in the United States.
Timid accountant Jonathan McQuarry (Ewan McGregor) is an auditor working out of New York. One night while working late in a boardroom he meets a charismatic lawyer, Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman), who befriends him over a joint. After a long conversation, Jonathan takes the subway home where he has a brief encounter with a blonde woman (Michelle Williams) while waiting on the train. Upon returning home he notices a pipe in his bedroom is leaking and leaving a stain.
Jonathan contacts Wyatt the next day and they play tennis after work. They meet again for lunch the next day and upon leaving, Wyatt takes Jonathan’s mobile phone instead of his own, forcing a trade. He mentions he will be in London on business for the next few weeks. When Jonathan realizes the phones have been switched he attempts to contact Wyatt but does not reach him. He is soon contacted by a woman (Natasha Henstridge) who asks if he is free that night. He informs her that he is and agrees to meet her. When she arrives, they proceed directly to a hotel room upstairs and have sex. In the morning, Jonathan realizes that Wyatt must be on some type of exclusive sex club list.
When Wyatt calls the next day, he encourages Jonathan to stay on the list. Jonathon has an encounter with an older woman (Charlotte Rampling) who explains more of the list’s rules: the initiator pays for the room, no names are exchanged; there is no rough play. Participants are always anonymous, although Jonathan later spots the older woman on the cover of Forbes. Over the next few weeks, he has anonymous encounters with several women.
One night after initiating another encounter, Jonathan is surprised to find that his partner is the blond woman he met while waiting for the train. He tells her that they had met once before, and instead of having sex, they order room service and talk for hours. The woman does not say her name, but Jonathan assumes that it begins with an “S” because of an S-shaped pendant on her handbag. The next day Jonathan rejects other callers from the list but when “S” calls again they agree to meet for dinner in Chinatown. They then proceed to a hotel where she requests some ice. When Jonathan returns to the room she is gone and there is blood on the bedsheets. Someone knocks him out from behind, but when he wakes up again the bed has been made. He contacts the police and explains to the Detective (Lisa Gay Hamilton) that “S” is missing but that he has little to no information about her. She doubts his story, thinking that he is delusional. Jonathan tries to trace Wyatt, but Wyatt’s boss and landlady claim not to know him.
Upon returning home Jonathan is surprised to find Wyatt waiting for him and demanding that he steal $20 million from an investment firm he will begin to audit in a few days. Jonathan agrees to do so, fearing for the safety of “S”. The following night at work, Jonathan receives a call asking if he is free. The woman calling is named Tina (Maggie Q), an investment banker who once introduced Wyatt to the exclusive sex club list. She reveals that Wyatt’s real name is Jamie Getz, and that they met when he was attending a private corporate event as a guest of Rudolph Holloway, an investment banker with whom Getz played tennis. Jonathan finds out through research that Getz murdered Holloway, strangling him with tennis strings, and also served three years in prison for insurance fraud and arson. Jonathan is later notified by the detective that a blond woman matching his earlier description was discovered dead. When he comes in to identify her, he sees that it is actually the first woman who called him, and that she was also strangled by tennis strings.
Jonathan goes on to complete a wire transfer to a bank in Spain in his name, but secretly adds Wyatt’s name as co-signer. When he returns home he notices that a picture Wyatt had sent of “S” being held captive was taken in his apartment before the pipe started leaking. He realizes that she must have been a conspirator and wisely avoids his apartment which explodes when the superintendent enters to fix the pipe.
Now in Madrid, Wyatt impersonates Jonathan and attempts to withdraw the funds from the bank, but he is denied access because of the co-signer. Jonathan approaches Wyatt outside the bank and agrees to help him withdraw the funds if Wyatt splits it with him. Swapping identities, Jonathan and Wyatt cash in the $20 million in two $10 million suitcases. (A deleted scene reveals that Jonathan encountered a black market operator in Chinatown, who offered a variety of items, including fake passports; Jonathan presumably obtained a passport with his image in the name of Wyatt Bose and used this in his scheme to obtain half of the money). After the transaction is complete, Jonathan offers Wyatt half of his money if Wyatt tells him where “S” is. Wyatt pretends to agree and lures Jonathan to an uncrowded area where he draws a gun on Jonathan. Before he is able to shoot Jonathan, Wyatt is shot by “S” who leaves quickly. Jonathan pursues her, leaving a dying Wyatt and the money behind. He begs her to talk to him but she’d rather call it off, apologizing to him as she did not know Wyatt’s intent to kill Jonathan. “S” gets into a cab and leaves as Jonathan watches her go.
In Madrid, Jonathan again crosses path with “S” and they exchange smiles. The film comes to a close as Jonathan walks to her and she stands waiting for him.
The film received substantially negative reviews from critics. Review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes reported that 14% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 96 reviews – with the consensus that the film is “a middling, predictable potboilerwith mediocre dialogue and ludicrous plot twists.” Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 31 out of 100, based on 23 reviews.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $2.3 million in 2,001 theaters in the United States and Canada, averaging only $1,155 per theater and ranking #10 at the box office. As of September 22, 2009, the film has grossed $4,598,506 in the United States and Canada while grossing $13,114,439 in foreign countries adding to a total of $17,712,945.
From the husband-and-wife writing team of Judith Michael comes this potboiler which plays on one of the oldest fantasies in the book: What if you not only had a twin, but decided one day to trade places… just for a little while. What begins as a lark for sisters Stephanie and Sabrina quickly turns into so much more in this surprisingly satisfying read in which, perhaps not surprisingly, we are taught to be grateful for what we have for the grass is not always greener on the other side. For most of us, the perhaps unconscious thrill lies in the story of Stephanie, the twin whose life in suburbia has become almost stifling, especially when compared to that of her exotic, exciting twin sister, Lady Sabrina Longworth. Quicker than you can say, “Hey, what if we traded places?” Stephanie is living the high life, while Sabrina is trading cocktail parties for backyard barbeques. This is classic Judith Michael, who for several years stirred the imagination by taking classic cases of “what if” and spun them into fanciful, frothy books. “What if… you won the lottery?” (Pot Of Gold) “What if… you found out that your newly deceased husband had a rich, secret family he never told you about?” (A Ruling Passion) But with Deceptions, the novel that started it all, the authors crafted perhaps their best “what if” scenario by playing on a theme nearly every one of us has pondered at one time or another.
“Deceptions” Book Review Summary
Sabrina and Stephanie Longworth are twins. Sabrina married a wealthy English aristocrat and divorced him. She now runs a successful antiques business in London. Stephanie married Garth Anderson, a scientist and university professor. She stays at home in the suburbs with their two children and envies her sister’s jet set lifestyle. Stephanie’s desire for a more exciting life is putting a strain on her marriage.
Stephanie gets Sabrina to switch places so she can have some fun but does not want Garth to know. Garth did not like Sabrina when he met her and thinks she is the cause of Stephanie’s dissatisfaction with her life. Sabrina quickly adjusts to Stephanie’s home life, and gets to know and like Garth. Stephanie finds she is good at the antiques business. But just before they are to switch back, Sabrina breaks her leg and the deception has to continue. Stephanie does not mind because she has started an affair with one of Sabrina’s friends. Nor is Stephanie upset when Sabrina confesses she could not say no when Garth wanted to make love. The longer Sabrina lives with Garth, the more she falls in love with him. Garth feels like he is falling in love with his wife all over again as she takes an interest in his work and encourages his dreams instead of wanting him to make more money.
Then Stephanie is killed when her lover’s yacht explodes. Sabrina cannot bring herself to tell Garth it was really Stephanie and she tries to carry on the deception because she loves Garth too much to have him leave her once he learns the truth.
(The review of this Book prepared by L. Watson)
“The Parent Trap” Movie Review Summary
The Parent Trap (1998 Version) takes place in the 1990’s, and contains a fun variety of comedy, drama, and romance. Eleven-year-olds Annie James and Hallie Parker (both played by Lindsay Lohan) meet at a summer camp and at first become great enemies. When sent to an “Isolation Cabin” as a punishment for their growing rivalry (the teasing and tricks they play on each other are actually quite funny), they discover through photos and facts that they are identical twins separated at birth. Annie lives in London with her mother (Natasha Richardson) and Hallie lives in Napa, California with her father (Dennis Quaid). They soon create a plan to switch places because of their mutual quest to meet their other parent. When Annie goes to California, she not only meets her father, but his new 20-year-old fiancée! Annie despises this woman’s often snotty attitude. The twins decide they must get their parents back together as soon as possible in fear that their father might marry this young, obnoxious woman.
The movie continues on with the clever twins creating many schemes and twists to have their parents fall in love once again. The Parent Trap was first created in 1961, with Hayley Mills playing both twins. If you loved that Disney classic, you will surprisingly appreciate the remake as well.
(The review of this Movie prepared by Lauren)
“People may forget what you said and they might forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
The moment that I read this profound statement somewhere, a long time ago, I was immediately struck by its depth of meaning and by the depth of truth hidden behind it. As I normally do in such cases, I deliberately moved this thought from my short-term memory store to my cupboard-full of long-term memories. I consider it as being a thought worth remembering and so should you. This statement can be seen from two different angles and two different perspectives: some people are benevolent; others are malevolent and downright wicked and evil – there can be no denying of this fact!
Benevolent people strongly believe in and actively practice on the basic principles of Good Words, Good Thoughts and Good Deeds – they bring out The Best in other people because they project their inner benevolence onto them, in no small way. What we then see is simply a reflection of this benevolence in the other person. However, some people are evil mischief-makers; they thrive on creating and perpetuating trouble, grave discomfort, worry, panic, anxiety, chaos and havoc. Such people are malevolent and it is a very good idea to maintain a sufficient distance from such mischief-mongering individuals. The latter thrive on deceit and its aftermath. Keep away from such people!
The act of deception ranges from fairly innocent pranks to deceit, as an act of downright evil, with grave consequences. The latter is an act of sheer malice, spite, viciousness and vindictiveness. The most common prank that immediately comes to mind is the innocent pranks and jokes that get passed around on the 1st of April of any given year (“April Fool’s Day.”) Such deception is carried out specifically in the spirit of true fun and enjoyment – it is not malicious, spiteful or vindictive in its very origin. Some acts of deception have even been known to have a happy outcome. Whatever the motive behind an act of deception, it is to be remembered that it is quite a different scenario when one is at the ‘receiving end’ of deceit. It is not a pleasant feeling to know that one has been “used,” taken for granted and in short, been taken for a fool. What most people tend to forget when they are in the act of deceiving another, is how they would feel themselves if they were in the other person’s place instead.
The message here is simple – don’t play “games” – don’t play with people’s feelings and emotions. An act of deception is still always an act of deceit – it can make the other have a felling of being let-down or it can be engendered as an act of betrayal. The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from strangers – it comes as ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ – it comes from persons posing as so-called friends.
Let me repeat – the message here is simple – don’t play “games” with other people’s lives, especially where it involves Love; don’t play with people’s feelings and emotions. It serves no good purpose. There comes a point when it is no longer funny.
In the end, what else is left to say except: “People may forget what you said and they might forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”