Oscar-winner Woody Allen’s story and screenplay are first-rate. He paints a colourful canvas with really interesting, yet realistic, characters and keeps the audience engrossed in their dreams, hopes and misdemeanours. The only thing that might irritate the audience is the film’s inconclusive ending. Allen’s characters are still grappling with their problems, of which all but one (Helena finally finds peace) remain inconclusive. There is no easy way out for the rest. Having said that, it needs to be added that Allen has peppered his story with a lot of situational humour. The audience will find themselves laughing at the characters’ predicaments; the women will obviously love (or loathe) all talk of a “tall dark stranger”.

Antonio Banderas, Naomi Watts and Gemma Jones (You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger Review)

The performances bring the story to life. Antonio Banderas is impeccable and looks stylish. Josh Brolin lives the role of the peeping tom with panache. Anthony Hopkins, as the old man besotted with youth, is excellent. Gemma Jones lives her role. Naomi Watts is vulnerable. Lucy Punch plays the dumb call girl very well. Freida Pinto does okay in a very small role. Pauline Collins, Ewen Bremner, Roger Ashton-Griffiths and Anna Friel provide able support. Anupam Kher and Meera Syal have a couple of scenes as Freida’s parents.

Gemma Jones and Roger Ashton-Griffiths (You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger Review)

Woody Allen’s direction is very good though this is certainly not his best work as a director (Annie Hall, Match Point, Vicky Cristina Barcelona). He extracts good performances from his cast and maintains the audience’s inertest with witty and sarcastic dialogues. Technically, the film is good. Director of photography Vilmos Zsigmond’s lenswork is excellent as is the editing by Alisa Lepselter. The background score is pleasant. Costume designer Beatrix Aruna Pasztor also does a fine job. Watch out for Freida Pinto’s red attire and Gemma’s English dresses.

All in all, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger is a humorous take on relationships and dreams. It’s a slice-of-life film, but only for the discerning audience.

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