Neat and Precise Obsession
I, personally, did not have a problem believing Robin Williams in this left-field role. In fact, I've always find his smile immensely creepy. The film takes place over a relatively short period of time. Because of that, the character of Sy doesn't really develop for the sake of the film, but instead the film develops and layers and reveals for the sake of the character. This backwards approach had a strange hypnosis to it, causing the creepiness of the character to border on sympathetic intrigue.
The production side of this film is magnificent. The movie is bound together with seamless, flowing camera motions. The shots are long, highlighting every facial nuance. The score is brilliant. Electronic pulses echo precisely, adding an eerie undertone to the unsure scenes. There are no jump scenes in this picture; there are only slow revelations that cause our susp*cions to dilate into shocked disbelief.
Towards the end, the movie begins to spin its wheels a bit. The characters begin to act outside of themselves and the story takes some very interesting bounds. But, for the most part, One Hour Photo is a very level-headed film. Its frightening premise is executed more procedurally than forcefully.
The premise of the film is certainly enough to inspire a picture, but the filmmakers don't really build on the premise. One Hour Photo is a surprisingly short movie, very simply presented, and much too simply executed. About two-thirds through the picture, the movie shifts from an intriguing beginning to an obligatory ending. The madness, if you will, of the presentation, is only calmly resolved.
One Hour Photo is a nice credit to Robin Williams who gives his best character-driven performance. This is a superiorly-made picture and deserves a lot of post-production credit. The only criticisms I have of the picture come not from a poor element, but instead from a lack of something. The film is strongly made and is well worth a viewing. One Hour Photo isn't more and it isn't less. It's simply enough.