The Weight of Water (2000) torrent download

The Weight of Water

2000

Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

5.9

Synopsis

In 1873 on Smutty Nose Island, a bleak island off the coast of New England, Louis Wagner is tried and hanged for the murder of two women. At the trial, the survivor of the murders, Norwegian immigrant Maren Hontvedt, recounts the events that led up to the murder of her sister and sister-in-law. In so doing, she reveals how she was caught in a loveless marriage and her repressed passion for her brother. Meanwhile, in the present-day, newspaper photographer Jean travels to the island off the New Hampshire coast with her husband Thomas, an award-winning poet, his brother Rich, and Rich's girlfriend Adaline. She is researching the murders of the two immigrant women. In a twist of fate, she discovers archived papers that appear to give an account of the murders. According to the papers, Norwegian immigrant Maren Hontvedt, survived the attack, which was allegedly done by Louis Wagner, who had once tried to seduce her. The plot unfolds the narrative of the papers and Hontvedt's testimony ...

Director

Kathryn Bigelow

Cast

Sean Penn
as Thomas Janes
Elizabeth Hurley
as Adaline Gunne
Sarah Polley
as Maren Hontvedt
Josh Lucas
as Rich Janes
Ciarán Hinds
as Louis Wagner
Richard Donat
as Mr. Plaisted

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Buddy-51 N/A

half a good film

In its basic structure and format, `The Weight of Water' is very similar to the far more impressive film `Possession' from 2002. In both movies, we get two different stories running simultaneously: one, a mystery set in the past, and, the other, a personal drama located in the present, involving a group of characters reflecting on and trying to make sense of the events that took place a century or so earlier.

The story-within-a-story in `The Weight of Water' is a true-life account of a brutal double murder that took place on a remote island off the coast of New Hampshire in the 1870's. Two out of the three women who were on the island that fateful night fell victim to the murderer, with the third escaping and fingering a man - a former boarder - as the culprit. The man was convicted and hanged for the offense, yet, more than a century later, a shadow of doubt hangs over the verdict. One of the modern-day doubters is Jean Janes, a photographer who ventures to the island to do a shoot of the location, only to find herself strangely obsessed with uncovering the truth about the case. Accompanying her on her quest are her husband, Thomas, a celebrated poet; Rich, his handsome brother whose boat they use to get to the island; and Adaline, the latter's gorgeous girlfriend who also happens to be a devotee of Thomas' literary work and a bit of a `groupie,' as it turns out, in both tone and temperament, attaching herself rather obviously to the talented young bard, despite the fact that his observant wife is on the boat with them. As in `Possession,' the filmmakers in this film - screenwriters Alice Arlen and Christopher Kyle and director Kate Bigelow - shift constantly between the past and the present, allowing us to piece together the clues as to what really happened on that island over 130 years ago, and, at the same time, to examine the strained relationships among those contemporary figures looking for the answers.

The problem with `The Weight of Water' - as it is in many films with this dual-narrative structure - is that one story almost inevitably ends up dominating over the other. Certainly, both tales seem to want to make the same unified point: that love and passion are often such overwhelming forces in our lives that they can end up destroying us in the process. How often do luck, fate, personal demons or societal pressure force us to compromise those elemental passions raging within our hearts, leading us, ultimately, to all the wrong choices and wrong partners that we end up having to live with for the rest of our lives? This is certainly the case in the part of the story set in the past where loneliness, regret, even incest and lesbianism play a crucial part in what happens to the characters. We can understand what motivates these individuals to do what they do, since their hungers, needs and intentions are cleanly laid out and clearly defined.

The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for the outer story set in the present. These characters lack the necessary delineation to make us truly understand where they are coming from or to make us care where they are going. Catherine McCormack does a superb job as Jean, capturing the fears, jealousies and anxieties of this insecure modern woman, but the screenplay doesn't let us into her mind enough to show us what is really going on beneath the surface. We know that she is unhappy in her marriage, but we never really get to know why. The situation is not helped one bit by Sean Pean who barely registers an emotion in the crucial role of Jean's husband. Apart from the fact that he seems to be brooding all the time, we never get the sense that Thomas could really be the world-class poet we are told he is. As Adaline, Josh's tawny-haired girlfriend, Hurley looks great in her bikini, of course, but the character is little more than the stereotypical temptress placed there by the writers to serve as a source of strain and tension on the marriage. The movie also builds to a mini- `Perfect Storm'-type climax that seems forced, phony, arbitrary and all too convenient and, worst of all, fails to make the connection between the two narratives clear and comprehensible. The final scenes seem strained at best, as the authors attempt to bring all the disparate elements together - but to no real avail. The fact is that the filmmakers never make their case as to why we should find any kind of meaningful parallels between the characters and events in the two stories. The characters in the past are obviously hemmed in by the repressive society in which they live so we give them a little leeway and offer them our sympathy; the characters in the present, with so many more options open to them, just come across as whiney and self-pitying and we find ourselves growing more and more impatient with them (all except Jean, that is) as the story rolls along.

`The Weight of Water' wants to be an important and meaningful film, but only one half of its story truly earns those adjectives.

Reviewed by claudio_carvalho 5 /10

Excellent Cast and Budget Wasted by a Confused Screenplay and a Terrible and Pretentious Direction

This movie could be an excellent film, having a great cast and budget, photography and soundtrack, but it does not work well. Why? Because of the confused screenplay and a terrible and even pretentious direction. There are two stories, one of them excellent. In 1873, two women are ax murdered in an isolated island in New Hampshire. A man is accused of the crime by the survival, Maren Hontvedt (Sarah Polley), and condemned to be hanged. This story, presented through flashbacks, is wonderful, with an outstanding performance of Sarah Polley. In the present days, the newspaper photographer Jean Janes (Catherine McCormack) is researching this murder. She is married with the famous writer Thomas Janes (Sean Penn), and she convinces her brother-in-law Rich Janes (Josh Lucas) to sail to the island in his yacht. Rich brings his girlfriend Adaline Gunne (the delicious Elizabeth Hurley), who is a fan of Thomas and tries to seduce him, playing erotic games. This story is totally confused, spinning and never reaching a point. The intention of the director was to have a parallel narrative, linked by common points. But in practice, it becomes a mess, with unresolved situations and characters not well developed. In the end, I felt sorrow for such a waste of a talented cast. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): `O Peso da Água' (`The Weight of the Water')

Reviewed by jotix100 7 /10

A cruise to nowhere

The problem with "The Weight of the Water", the film, is the way the novel by Anita Shreve, was adapted for the screen. This is the basic flaw that even a good director like Kathryn Bigelow couldn't overcome when she took command of the production. The novel, as it is, presents grave problems for a screen treatment, something that the adapters, Alicia Arlen and Christopher Kyle, were not successful with their screen play.

The picture is basically a film within a film. Both subjects, the present time and the story that is revealed as Jane gets involved, parallel each other, but one story has nothing to do with the other. Also, the way this film was marketed was wrong. This is not a thriller at all. What the book and the film are about is human situations that are put to a test.

In the story that happened many years ago in a settlement in coastal New England, there was a notorious murder at the center of the narrative. It has to do with a wrongly accused man, Louis Wagner, a man that is basically crippled with arthritis that is accused by Maren Hontvelt, his landlady, as the one that killed two women, Karen and Anethe. In flashbacks we get to know the truth of how an innocent man is hung for a crime he didn't commit.

The second story shows how Jane who is traveling with her husband Thomas, in his brother's yacht. She is a photographer on assignment about the place where the women were murdered, years ago, is lured to the subject matter she is photographing, and makes the discovery of the truth. Her own relationship with her husband Thomas is a troubled one. They are doomed as a couple, one can only see the way he leers after his brother's girlfriend as she parades almost naked in the pleasure boat they are spending time. In the novel the tension comes across much deeply than what one sees in the movie.

The amusing thing about the film is that the secondary story is more interesting than the present one. Thus, the luminous Sarah Polley, who plays Maren in the secondary tale, makes a deep impression, as does the accused man, Louis Wagner, who is portrayed by Ciaran Hands. Sean Penn, comes across as somehow stiff as Thomas. The wonderful Katrin Cartlidge is totally wasted.

The film has elicited bad comments in this forum, but it's not the bad movie some people are trying to say it is. Better yet, read Ms. Shreve's novel as it is more satisfying than what came out in this movie version.

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