Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana star in "THE WORDS." Photo Credit: CBS Films
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"The Words" Need a Rewrite
Words can hurt. This common saying comes to life in the latest literary drama layered with romance, deception and greed. “The Words,” by writing and directing duo Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, explores stealing as much more than just the loss or gain of a prized possession, fame or fortune. It is about identity loss and (taking a cue from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”) the worst revenge of all, self-inflicted guilt.
The story folds three stories inside one another, each about a man struggling to find his way in life and what he will sacrifice in order to get there. Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper, “Hit & Run”), Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid, “Footloose”) and the Old Man (Jeremy Irons, “Margin Call”) face life altering decisions, exposing their true character.
This is certainly a “thinker” film although it may have you thinking a little too much. In going back and forth among three separate stories it does get somewhat difficult to follow at points. Much like, “The Hours,” these men are living on different timelines but linked by a single piece of literature. There are many unnecessary scenes that do not advance the plot. This forces the overall presentation to become convoluted rather than imaginative. Despite limiting roles for some, the entire cast offers rich performances. The cinematography is worth noting, especially the archived footage in Paris during World War II.