“Deceiver” (one of Tim Roth’s finest)
Tim Roth’s eclectic body of work is impressive – spanning many years – and in an incredible diversity of films and roles. I own many, if not most, of his films, with my favorites being his serious dramatic roles, though I have enjoyed everything I’ve seen him in from comedic to crime films. No matter the character he portrays, his performance is powerful, thoughtful, as his entire demeanor, facial expressions, etc. communicate just as much, perhaps more, than the dialogue.
Such is the case in a film I highly recommend: Deceiver.
This film was just perfect for me…intrigue, psychopathology, mystery, and the toying with those who think they are superior to a man whose genius far exceeds the majority surrounding him. Loved it!
Tim Roth played the suave, calm and collected James Wayland despite being continually interrogated by two homicide detectives. I absolutely appreciated every gesture, careful word, and nuance exhibited by him as he so calmly frustrated (and enraged one) the officers. He often craftily turns the tables on them in the interrogation.
Ahhhh, and the superb dialogue between he and his female friend, Elizabeth (played by Renée Zellweger), (while she works/sex models behind the glass partition) was deliciously superb. This is a mystery thriller filled with exceptional performances by all, realistic, and will keep you deeply engrossed and intrigued. She is perhaps his only friend, his confidante.
This is a story of his mind versus the minds, such as they are, of the two detectives Braxton and Kennesaw (played by Chris Penn and Michael Rooker). Who really has the upper hand, they with his phone number being in the murdered and dismembered girl’s pocket and their polygraph machine, or he – the son of wealthy man who suffers from epileptic seizures – but with a mind far superior to most he would ever encounter?
It particularly appealed to me because I love to see the intellectually superiority of Wayland toy with one of the detectives who falsely assumes himself superior. The classic good cop/bad cop scenario was depicted well, with one filled with hubris, and the other simply trying to do his job without assumption. But both, from his perspective, are his enemy – as he is the one being interrogated for murder. The psychological battle is simply so enjoyable to view.
The truth be told…or not…watch and see in this fine mystery thriller! I highly recommend it. The characters, the excellent performances by all, the story, and the way it’s masterfully filmed make it a keeper. It’s that good. I’ve viewed it twice, and know I’ll return another time for the sheer pleasure of viewing such a well-made story.
Here’s it’s trailer at IMDb: