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July 25, 2007

The Number 23 - 5

Yeah...2+3=5. I'm in on it too :). This film uses the idea of paranoia with the similarity between a book about a character obsessed with the number 23 and its reader, Walter (Jim Carrey), who wonders about the possible connections to his own life. The initial synopsis which I read near the time of the release of Stranger than Fiction seemed to suggest that it was similar (a character in search of it's author), and while this is a thriller in the vain of Identity, the ending revives the similarities. Unfortunately, not enough time is devoted to the ending which makes it an inferior film.
Walter gets the book as a birthday gift from his wife, Agatha (a very good Virginia Madsen), and the film spends half the time telling the story of the book, in the imagination of Walter. It continues on leaving very few clues as to what the audience is suppose to believe the paranoia or hope he doesn't go crazy and kill anyone. It then uses the last 15 minutes of the film as the big reveal and a quite intriguing moral message. It is underdeveloped and probably part of the wrong film, but the questions is one of the ethics of love. Are human beings really able to love and be loved? Especially when we consider that the questions of who we really are, is always only partially known. If who we are is connected to what we do and have done, then does knowledge of the past and our actions change our relationships? And how do our relationships change who we are? This film doesn't leave you hanging as to whether there really is some hidden meaning in the number 23, but rather with the possibility that love may be the answer to the question of suicide. Which may make this a truly scary film, if it weren't so forgettable.

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