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“One Hour Photo” is a psychological thriller starring Robin Williams as Sy Parrish, a photo technician working at a large supermarket’s one hour photo developing clinic. Living a lonely and solitary life, the painfully shy Sy becomes obsessed with his regular customers, the Yorkin family (Michael Vartan, Connie Nielsen and Dylan Smith), and fantasizes about being “Uncle Sy”…
With the death Robin Williams I was inspired to look back on this very original thriller, which immediately impressed me when it first came out on video. Rather than going the route of most psychological thrillers, which inevitably involve a lot of overt sexuality and vivid depictions of violence, this took a very different and more sympathetic approach.
Sy represents the alienation of individuals in modern society. The film’s ending provides us with a strong negative motivation for Sy’s desire to be a part of the perfect family, but the bigger picture is a story about how we often treat other members of our society. Sy’s narration discusses the false representation offered by photographs. The tragedies are rarely seen. Instead family albums of photographs are tapestries of smiling happy faces. Sy accepts this is not the true face, but he wants to believe in this utopia. The inspired set designs of the movie depict his workplace as a sterile and emotionless machine that affects a “heaven-like” hyper-reality and his home, where he keeps his shrine to the family he is stalking, is symbolic of Hell. Humans are naturally social creatures but Sy has no family or friends. Humans are driven to improve and be creative, but when Sy gets passionate about maintaining a certain standard in his workplace he is scalded and reminded about his position in the order.
Given the way digital and social media is today, the film hints at the horrors that lie in wait. Stalking is so prolific now the term has been partly accepted as normal behaviour. A world entertained by reality television has pushed the boundaries of privacy further than the most persistent of paparazzi photographers. However, Williams’ performance conveys the tragedy of the loner who is socially inept and longs for a sense of belonging. Between Sy’s collage of photographs and the false world of his workplace we can see a parallel with the interactive multimedia we use today. The sadness is not just that our society shuns loners like Sy and encourages them move in a dangerous direction, but that the enforced solitary activity of “social” networking with its pseudo-relationships and instant gratification might mean we might all end becoming like him.
The true genius behind “One Hour Photo” is, of course, Mark Romanek who wrote and directed the picture. Romanek took the “Taxi Driver” lonely man idea popular in 1970s films and delivered a far more sympathetic character in a brighter environment. Rather seeing the dirty, gritty and dingy world of the hardboiled thrillers of this era we see a far less honest world of veneers and artificiality, masks hiding complicated feelings and emotions. The more overtly darker look was something that Romanek obviously played with when he originally booked Trent Reznor to do the soundtrack. Despite being a big fan of Reznor’s work, I definitely think the direction Romanek took paid off.
To many, the idea of Robin Williams playing a sinister part was a surprise. He had already played the role of an obsessive and murderous psychopath in “Insomnia” and his performance had not been very well received. He won a Golden Raspberry in the Worst Actor category for that year. It seemed to be a step too far for Williams. However, I would argue that “One Hour Photo” is perhaps Williams’ finest moment.
Much of the persona that audiences had come to expect of the actor was down to his success as the alien Mork in the “Happy Days” sit-com spin-off “Mork and Mindy”. Willaims established himself as a comedy actor and comedian. He became known for being this zany, fast-talking character that could do various funny voices and brought unrelenting energy to the screen. Despite handling many adult topics in his stand-up act and having little prudence regarding the use of foul language, there was something of the man-child in Williams. He could project a vulnerability that has made so many clowns loveable. “Good Morning Vietnam” opened up the possibilities for a deeper Williams. This was despite the fact that he had already shown a lot of promise in the 1982 comedy drama, “The World According to Garp”. Sadly, knowing the depression he suffered, he has fulfilled the cliché so many tragic comedians and comedy actors fallen into. Early reports on his death indicate that he might join Tony Hancock, Paul McCullough, Richard Jeni and possibly Kenneth Williams in that his depression led him to the ultimate conclusion of suicide. The obvious question remains how much of Williams’ pathos on the screen was connected to the depressive flipside of his otherwise jovial personality?
In “One Hour Photo” we see Williams possibly learning from the mistakes he made in “Insomnia” and balances the dangerous side of his character with tragic empathy. His role in "Insomnia" is unfairly criticized. Most dangerous psychopaths are really quite pathetic individuals, but perhaps Williams' performance in an already tiring movie just didn't pay off in the dramatic sense. Here we get a far more intelligent dark exploitation of Williams' accessible performances. As some wry observers have put it, "Mrs Doubtfire" has an unintended disturbing message regarding obsession. Strip away the romanticism of "Dead Poets Society" and "Good Will Hunting", and are these characters really on the level? This picture brings together ideas from several of Williams characters and holds a more realistic mirror up to them. Sy can almost be seen as innocent, yet he is a stalker, a fantasist and an obsessive with the potential to be lethal. On the surface the film appears to be a psychological thriller that works off the cuckoo premise seen in “Fatal Attraction”, “Single White Female” and “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle”, but there is far more to the picture than this concept. It goes in a very different direction and a lot of that is down to Williams’ performance.
This film is a big change from what robin Williams usually acts in. If anyone had told me that he would be the lead role in a thriller film I owouldnt of watched it, but he plays it so well. It's about a man that has no family life and wishes to be loved and in a family so, he goes through one particular families photos pretending that he is part of their family. Also he makes double the prints so he can take a copy of the families photos home with him. As the family seems happy and perfect on the outside, as he delves into their family he sees the cracks, in their marriage and their parenting I'm not gonna give a spoiler here, but it is well worth the watch if only to see robin Williams in a completely different light. It's a nice change to see a good actor stunning bad creepy
Robin Williams is a favourite actor of mine for his sheer talent and abillity to make me smile. I first watched this film not long after it came out, so here's my thoughts on it:
Quick overview of the storyline first, Sy Parrish (Williams) plays a quiet middle-aged photo assistant in a supermarket. He befriends a regular customer, Nina Yorkin (Connie Nielsen) as she regularly gets photo's of her family from the supermarket. Little to Nina's knowledge, Sy had developed an unhealthy obsession with her family, often duplicating the photo's she prints, and keeping a large collection of them in his apartment.
As the film continues, Sy's obsession grows, and he tries more and more to become a part of the Yorkin's family, but when he finds out more about the family from a set of photographs, he decides action must be taken.
First off, I was really surprised by Robin Williams in this film. I've never seen him play such a serious role, I've normally seen him in films where he's a bit of a clown and making people laugh, but in this film he did a good job of freaking me out. He plays a good physcho, showing deep emotions with the family. I think he played his part very well.
The other characters in the film were well cast and played their parts well too, but I think were overshadowed by William's performance.
I liked the storyline a lot, it's more realistic and acutally possible, which scares you a bit more. The storyline was really good, not hard to follow, but made you want to know what was going to happen next, what's he going to do now, and I like that in a film, it's what makes it worth watching for me. I don't think I'll ever look at Robin Williams the same way again!
I'd describe the film as a physchological drama, I think. It is a film that gets you thinking. It goes to show that although someone may be polite and quiet, they're not always totally harmless.
Overall, I like this film, I wouldn't consider it to be one of the best films I've ever seen, but it is a good watch.
RELEASED: 2002, Cert.15
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 96 mins
DIRECTOR/WRITER: Mark Romanek
PRODUCER: Christine Vachon
MUSIC: Johnny Klimek & Reinhold Heil
Robin Williams as Sy Parrish
Connie Nielsen as Nina Yorkin
Dylan Smith as Jakob Yorkin
Michael Vartan as Will Yorkin
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Sy Parrish is middle-aged, mild-mannered, quiet man who works as a photo developing technician at a hyper-market type store. He takes his job very seriously, doing all he can to make sure that his customers receive a smooth and efficient service. Both at work and out in the world, Sy is a shy, rather unassuming individual who lives in a nearby apartment with only his little hamster for company.
Nina Yorkin is a regular shopper at the hyper-market and frequently visits Sy's photo developing section as she takes a lot of pictures of her family. Nina and Sy are on good assistant to customer speaking terms but what Nina doesn't know is that in his private moments, Sy has become obsessed with her and her family to the point where he secretly makes hundreds of copies of the Yorkins' photos which he keeps for himself and has them arranged in a huge collage on one wall of his apartment.
As Sy wishes and attempts to reach out and get closer to the Yorkin family, he becomes disappointed when his somewhat shy overtures are politely declined. In the privacy of his own home, Sy's obsession gradually gets out of hand when he discovers something about Will, Nina's husband, that turns the final screw inside of his (Sy's) mind, making him all the more determined to affix himself to the family he so desperately wishes he was a part of.
That sets the basic scene, and as always, you must see the film for yourself to find out more.
Firstly, I must say how refreshing it was for me to have seen a film in which Robin Williams plays a serious role. I understand there are probably other movies in which he is cast into a serious role, but One Hour Photo is the first time I've personally witnessed such. Williams is someone who I generally have little time for when he's acting the fool and I'd always thought of him as a bit of a tired buffoon, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw him take on the leading role in this psychological thriller film....and, play it extremely well too. His appearance in One Hour Photo and the general demeanour he managed to create for the part of Sy is spot-on superb, and I truly didn't believe he possessed this level of skill as an actor. We here depart from the effusive, gibberish Robin Williams and watch as he turns into a quiet, borderline socially inadequate man who leads a very lonely life.
Some of the facial expressions Williams adopted whilst playing the meek and mild Sy are so very typical and accurate of how a character of this nature would be - especially the fleeting glimpses of sadness and disappointment in his eyes when the Yorkin family members gently move him off at arms' length each time he tries to edge in too close.
Everybody else in the movie acted their parts well, but Williams' role is by far the most involved and demanding and he delivered the whole character of Sy with a brilliance which I doubt any other actor could have improved upon. During the first part of the film, I just wanted to take him home with me, feed him, nurture him and tell him "everything's gonna be alright".....that is until his obsessive behaviour took a darker and more sinister turn.
I wouldn't say that One Hour Photo is edge of your seat, nail-biting, gripping thriller stuff, but it certainly is very classily put together and because it is approached in a non-sensationalist way, the whole story actually is quite feasible.....there is nothing in it which is at all unlikely, given the appropriate circumstances.
The way I see it at the end of the day, regardless of whether this was intended by the Writer/Director or not, is that the film sort of carries a message of still waters running very, very deep and that just because somebody appears to be shy and harmless, it doesn't mean to say they necessarily are. This is a situation where somebody has spent their whole life 'imploding', then when something comes along which they almost twistedly want to be a part of yet their efforts at making a connection are thwarted, the 'imploding' gradually begins to travel in reverse mode.
One Hour Photo is quite a gentle, laid-back film which is entirely feasible and I feel is presented in exactly the same way as it would happen if it were a true life situation. I'd consider it at least moderately likely that similar situations have occurred at times around the world, yet we probably haven't heard about them. I certainly want to watch this again, despite knowing how the whole thing pans out, as it is a very tasteful, brilliantly constructed journey into a corner of one lonely man's mind....a man who finds himself in a position where he is unable to accept a nicely delivered "no" for an answer.
In summary, I'm sure that all fans of psychological thriller genre films would be intrigued by One Hour Photo, although I must stress that as touched on above, it's not edge-of-your-seat stuff due to the whole production being delivered at a slow, real-life pace. Whilst skimming through various film-orientated websites and reading a few reviews on this movie, I am a little puzzled that some people say they find One Minute Photo difficult to get into and confusing in parts. I personally didn't find it in the slightest difficult or confusing, as for me it flowed easily and I was 100% in tune with what was going on in the storyline throughout.
At the time of writing, One Hour Photo can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from £1.99 to £7.73
Used: from 16p to £6.99
Collectible: Two copies available at £2.89 and £4.99
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
As far as I can determine, One Hour Photo hasn't been uploaded onto YouTube in its entirety, although there are one or two incidences where it looks as if it has been. These incidences merely direct you to another website where you would have to pay to view it (probably more than you could buy the film for on Amazon or similar sites). However, there are quite a few clips/trailers available for anyone who'd like to watch a sampler.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
Most people will recognise Robin Williams from his comical roles in the likes of Mork and Mindy, Flubber or Mrs Doubtfire but One Hour Photo portrays him in a completely different role. This creepy thriller really shows the variety of Williams acting ability provides us all with a deep and thoughtful movie.
Williams plays Si, working at a photgraphic development stall in a superstore. He has been doing his job for years and become deeply attached to it. One family in particular, the Yorkins who have been developing photos at the store for years have really grabbed Si's attention. As the plot thickens, we find there is more to Si than meets the eye and at the point when he loses his jobs, things start to take a thrilling turn. Is he really a criminal?
The film does start quite slowly but gradually develops into quite an intense and deep plot where you're never too sure what might happen next. I quite enjoyed Williams in this role even though it was quite difficult at first to see him in a serious mode.
If you are looking for action and fast pace this is not the movie for you but for intensity it is very much at the top of the thriller list.
Personally I very much enjoyed the film and there were a couple of points where it just sends shivers down your spine
I've watched Robin Williams in a number of movies and I'm sure if anyone were to say what they remember Robin Williams for and what roles he was in they would say that his is a comic actor that is very funny. However, everyon so often he will come along with a character and portryal that veers away from his normal and shows his versatility. This movie is exactly that.
Robin Williams plays Seymour Parrish who has worked in his job at the photo lab in a supermarket for many years now. He loves his job and takes it very seriously. He takes pride in his work too. He is very much a recluse in his personal life without any friends and also living alone. We are introduced to the Yorkin family who Seymour knows pretty well as they are regular customers in the shop. The family had a nine year old son called Jakob. Seymour was pretty obsessed with the family and would follow the mother at times and watch Jakob's soccer practice from the stands. Disturbingly enough he would fill his apartment walls with pictures of the family and saw himself as part of the family.
The movie is really a look at how Seymour through a series of events ends up losing the plot and going off the rails. He is portrayed as an unstable man at the start and this gets progressively worse as the movie continues. To make matters worse he doesn't really get on with his boss and once he discovers something about the family he idolises he flips and goes over the edge.
I have to say I really enjoyed One Hour Photo and it was nice to see Robin Williams in a different sort of role for a change. The movie is esentially a thriller and has a unique plot and kept me riveted from start to finish. There are many twists and turns and it's full of suspense.
This is well worth watching and you won't be disappointed..
Prior to watching One Hour Photo, I asked my friends if any of them had seen it, and to those that had, their view of the film. Unusually, my questioning was met with a universal response: "That is one scary, creepy film," they all said. I was naturally skeptical... how scary can a psychological thriller rated 15 be? I spent the first two thirds of the film in contented agreement with myself- One Hour Photo appeared to be no more disturbing than your average thriller. For it is not until the final stages of the film, that the true extent of the creepyness emerges. And oh, how it stayed with me for days!
One Hour Photo follows the life of "Sy," played by Robin Williams. Aladdin was the first film I saw at the cinema; a fact true of many people of my generation I suspect. Consequently, I have since been a Robin Williams fan, having adored his voicing of the Genie. Robin Williams gives a powerful performance as Sy, an employee of a photo development lab in a shopping centre. Sy becomes fixated by a family who bring their beautiful holiday photos to be developed. He develops one set of photos for them, and one for himself, of every film they bring him. Sy nurtures a perfect, mental image of the family, and ultimately attempts to influence them to fit this image.
One Hour Photo is shot in quite an arty, classy manner. It has plenty of symbolism and is full of suspense. It is serious film, which cannot be made light of in any way. It also has one gory scene. If this does not sound like your idea of fun... rent out a different dvd.
I have been of the opinion that Robin Williams had a rather limited repertoire and have never managed to get into any of his films particularly, aware of his big name status - I've always wondered just why he's so popular.
One Hour Photo was a film that was on TV one night recently, to be honest I'd never heard of it and almost switched it off when I saw Williams' recognisable mug, something immediately drew me to the film though and after a while it became clear that Williams' performance was difference to what you would expect. He was playing the part of a psycho and he was playing it well, not only was his acting convincing but the filming whether it be in his workplace or at home emphasised the loneliness and blandness of his life. The brightest thing in his life was in fact his rather plain uniform.
As a photo developer, he came into contact with people that lived the exact opposite way to him and he soon became fond of a complete family that lived a rich and colourful life, his interest in them seems scary on a stalkerish basis but it never feels as is if he will harm them, it's more of a sentimental type feeling and he seems as though he longs to be adopted by them.
At the same time you can feel that something will trigger some seriously mental behaviour and that moment is cleverly weaved into a fairly straight forward plot but one that keeps you guessing for some time. This film is slow at times, it's definitely a psychological film, it's not something you want to see if you expect action or comedy but it's a good film all the same and will keep most viewers focused.
This is one of those films which leaves you feeling numb. There is not really a happy ending in sight and you will suss this from the first few minutes of the film, when we are introduced to the main characters. Robin Williams carries the film as unassuming Sy. This quiet chap works by day in a photo processing lab, where he takes great pride in developing customers' photos. Staff seem to like him, though he clearly feels unappreciated and customers warm to his gentle nature.
The film takes a while to develop a relationship between Sy and a young family. The mainstay here is the vibrant mum, played by Connie Nielson. At first it is hard to tell what Sy's intentions are towards the family. Does he want to muscle in and be her love interest, does he want to play a father figure to the kid or does he just want to be accepted as an uncle sort of figure. There is also the underlying theme that something more sinister is at play here, though this theme teeters and does not quite come to fruition.
It all builds in a monstrous way, slow burning and methodical as Sy starts to get closer and closer to the family. Things start to go wrong for him at work though and Sy's life starts to head in a dubious direction. The relationship with this family starts to become more serious to him and his 'cravings' need to be fulfilled, even this might mean putting peoples lives in danger.
The film is gritty, bleak and captivating. Williams' turn as Sy is knowing and penetrating and proves he can just as easily handle psychotic roles as well as the buffoon role. Nielson is great as the mother, who brings a freshness to her part and a good amount of energy too.
Some well constructed scenes, particularly the creepy slow scenes in the photo lab, as we observe Sy are excellently handled and painful to watch. The conclusion is satisfying and pulled off with aplomb and the acting on all levels is gripping. This hooks you quickly and delivers an upsetting yet thrilling ride.
Robin Williams stars in a role that's quite unusual for him.
He plays Seymour, an employee that works in a photo lab in a supermarket store, who becomes obsessed with a certain family who come in often to get their photo's developed.
Eventually, he starts to stalk the family, but when he finds out that the husband has been cheating on his wife of the family, he is determined to show the wife the photographic proof!
As a character, Seymour, is a sad individual with practically no life and no friends and lives in a very plain apartment.
Robin puts in a surprisingly really good performance here as the disturbed photo developer who just wants to do the right thing, at least in his mind.
It is refreshing to see him in a different role and it's always good when an actor challenges himself.
I thought the performances by the cast who play the family were pretty generic except for little Dylan Walsh's performance, who plays the family's kid son, who Seymour becomes frighteningly attached to.
Scene by scene, the tension builds, as Seymour becomes more erratic with his behaviour and the film leads toward a disturbing climax.
The film is low on gore, in fact, I can only remember one particular scene with blood and it is a dream sequence that is over quite rapidly.
I do wish there was more character background on Seymour's past that we could have learned as I think it would have made the film just a bit more effective, emotion wise.
I would say that this film is a psychological horror thriller, a picture that works by playing with the viewer's mind.
I recommend this one just to see a different kind of performance from Williams.
This film tells a story of a man (Robin Williams) who lives alone and is lonely, has not many friends and not a great social life, most of his time is spent either at work or at home. He is passionate about his job and doesn't look kindly upon people doing his job with little experience. He works a photograph developer.
He forms an obsession over a particular customer and her family and begins to take a worringly obsessed path into the family's life each time he develops her photos he looks more and more into their life as a family and kind of lives in it without them. We find out that Robin williams was abused as a kid and why he starts becoming obsessed about this family, which, we find out is not a perfect family after all.
To me, I found this film quite uncomfortable to watch, its quite an edgy film even though it isn't particularly scary, just something in my gut didn't feel right about the character Williams is playing. Its out of line with the work he normally takes on so does make it interesting in that way for him to take on something different for a change.
I didn't feel really comfortable watching this movie only becuase Im not particularly into thrillers and stuff like that, but for the person who enjoys an intense, mental thriller, this would be quite good i should imagine
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Robin Williams is primarily lauded as a comic actor, but in recent years he seems to have become a little bored of that, and so has gone for some more edgy options as many comics do as they get older (often disastrously, as Jim Carrey did in The Number 23). Williams has the manic panache to make it work, and in the stellar One Hour Photo, he makes a clear case that he is as talented in straight roles as when being a funnyman.
Williams stars as Seymour "Sy" Parrish, a photo techician who lives a fairly sad life, given that he has no family or friends, and spends his life living for his job, and then lounging in front of the TV at home like a zombie. He frequently develops pictures for the Yorkin family, consisting of husband Will (Vartan), wife Nina (Nielsen), and their son Jake (Dylan Smith), and has developed a strange obsession with them, wanting to feel the happiness that he thinks they feel from looking at their pictures. However, he is also socially inept and so is unable to fully engage with them as friends; this causing him much frustration, building and building until he begins to stalk them, with a violently angry streak seething barely beneath the surface.
A highly intruiging film that cements Williams as adept at both comedic roles and deeply serious and psychological ones, One Hour Photo combines some intimate and personal drama with a great psychological undercurrent. The story is incredibly engrossing, and makes light of some serious issues, such as obsession, infidelity, and loneliness. I loved it - it's dark and haunting until the last frame.
First screened back in 2002, One Hour Photo is a psychological thriller starring Robin Williams as a lonely, mentally unbalanced supermarket photo-lab employee who develops an obsession with a young family whose photos he has been developing for years. Williams tries to compensate for his own lovelless, friendless existence by living vicariously through this surrogate family, ingratiating himself with them in his mind and devoting an entire wall of his dingy little flat to a vast montage of photographs of them.
His mind slowly begins to unravel, and he gets into trouble for having a blazing row with a toner technician at work before eventually getting sacked for using up the lab's resources to make his own illegal prints, at which point his world falls apart and his obsession with the family intensifies yet further now that his ties with them through work have been cut. He threatens his ex-boss by sending him pictures of his young daughter playing, and becomes the object of a police investigation, ultimately finding himself on the run from the law as his mental state continues to deteriorate.
Im not normally a fan of Williams but here he puts in a great performance, portraying a character who is both unsettlingly creepy and yet likable and pitiable, and the narrative does an excellent job of portraying his descent into a full-scale breakdown. The contrast between the squeakly clean, hyper-real life Williams lives at the Department store, where he feels purposeful and is liked and respected, and the miserable and desperately lonely life he lives outside of work is particularly well-done, helped along all the while by an ominous and unsettling musical score. Its a very tense film with some very dark moments, in particular the dream-scene in which Williams finds himself standing alone amidst endless rows of empty supermarket shelves, covering his hands with his eyes and emitting a violent, tortured scream as arcs of blood spurt out from in between his fingers.
An engaging and intelligent film, One Hour Photo is well worth a look for fans of forensic thrillers such as Manhunter and Silence of the Lambs.
One Hour Photo is a psychological thriller starring Robin Williams in one of his better roles and was released in 2002.
Williams plays Sy; a lonely, empty but seemingly kind photo developer. The movie begins slowly while the characters are developed and you soon realise that Sy is much more sinister and dangerous than he appears. A frequent customer to him are the Yorkins family to which he grows an unhealthy obsession for. He has dreams of being as happy as the photos he develops and you get to see one in particular which personally I thought should have been deleted as it ruined the tension and mysteriousness that had carefully been built up.
Mark Romanek uses colour to great effect. The clinical white surroundings at work mirror Sy's empty and loveless life. In fact, the only real clue at his serious emotional problems are his revealing and emphatic eyes. In a similar way to Ben Thomas in Seven Pounds; you know there is something wrong and the time before it is revealed is heavily relied upon by the lead.
William's performance is chilling and constantly absorbing. He's never been so real since Good Will Hunting and it was brilliant to see a powerful performance instead of a half funny, half annoying comedy role. One Hour Photo is more original and a must watch film because of this.
Seymour (Robin William) develops photos and becomes obsessed with a family, the Yorkin's, whose lives he follows through the photographs they give him to develop. He seems to live through them as he has no life of his own. However he soon finds a secret about Mr Yorkin that destroys his strange intrusion on their apparently perfect wife and soon becomes a dangerous stalker.
Unexpectedly, this movie isn't full of bloody gore and chainsaws, rather it focuses on the potential danger that Seymour is, and how suddenly a stranger can impose upon and destroy lives.
The movie cleverly depicts that the still life we see portrayed in halls and picture frames is not the truth, and that appearance are simply that.
Seeing Robin Williams in this role made me want to cry, I get that like actors like to play more than one genre but seriously, this just creeped me out.
However, getting past my inability to see him portraying someone other than a loveable character, William is excellent in this role. He presents a man with no future of his own; we see his sadness and pitiable life as something that drives him to a sort of insanity. He is believable as a man who has nothing but rage and terror building up.
One Hour Photo marks Robin Williams' third film running as the bad guy, following on from Insomnia and the straight-to-video (in the UK) Death to Smoochy. It's also his most chilling role to date. Playing "photo guy" Sy Parrish, obsessed by the seemingly perfect family who are his most regular customers, he paints a desperate image of a lonely, fanatical man whose only comfort lies in imagining himself a part of the lives of the wealthy, happy Yorkins family (headed by Connie Nielsen). Devastated by being fired from his job at the processing lab, and making a shocking discovery on his exit, he descends into psychosis. Director and screenwriter Mark Romanek, previously best known for his Nine Inch Nails and Madonna music videos, has made a stylish, distinctive entry into the world of mainstream movies; the film combines an ever-intensifying sense of menace with some unconventional shocks that never descend into clichés. Refreshingly, the film is presented from Parrish's point of view rather than the Yorkins', and it's a real (if disquieting) treat to see Williams ditch his usual bumbling buffoon character and get another meaty role to sink his teeth into. Eschewing the formulas and devices of the standard thriller with bleak effectiveness, One Hour Photo is a far more intelligent proposition than most of its peers--though it may be a disappointment to those expecting visceral thrills. On the DVD: One Hour Photo's beautifully austere photography and skilful use of colour translates excellently to the DVD's anamorphic widescreen format. The stylish menu screens have a photo-processing theme with stills and film footage; the extras comprise an informative and often amusing commentary from Romanek and Williams, a 25-minute Sundance Channel "Anatomy of a Scene" feature, a 12-minute Cinemax featurette, and an in-depth and entertaining half-hour interview with director and star from New York's acclaimed Charlie Rose show. The film is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and both movie and commentary are subtitled in English only. --Rikki Price