A wealthy mystery writer invites his wife’s lover to his estate and enlists his help in staging a home robbery. Of course not all is as it seems and their curious encounter turns into a battle of wits marked by deceit, disguises and, oh yes, death.
Well, this was a deliciously devious Crime Club entry chock full of twists, turns, shocks, and surprises. Granted, the first “disguise” does require some suspension of disbelief, but the narrative curveballs this movie throws at you are genuinely clever, making for a hell of an entertainment viewing. And despite the fact that the entire story takes place in a single interior location, the narrative never flags, progressing at a deliberate pace in the early goings and then ramping up as the game of one upmanship unfolds.
Michael Caine is brilliant as the poor Milo Tindle, but Sir Laurence Olivier (who received an Oscar nomination for this performance) is absolutely masterful here, tearing it up as the plotting Andrew Wyke. I’m willing to bet he never had more fun in a role.
Some nice little touches throughout: the maze at the beginning of the movie that tips its labyrinthine plot, Andrew’s prophetic love of games, Milo’s ironic use of riddles, and then that final, fitting twist.
Sleuth served to remind me how few contemporary thrillers are really all that clever. It would seem the bar has really been lowered in the years since this movie was released. As they say, they don’t make them like they used to. And that’s a shame.
So, what did you all think of Sleuth?
Join us Friday when our Crime Club reconvenes to discuss the 200 crime film Sexy Beast…