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Before meeting George Good (Brad Dourif), Sonny Jordan (Mekhi Pfeiffer) was just a lost drifter with a troubled past floating from town to town, looking for work. As fate would have it, Sonny ends up saving George's life from a murderous back-alley mugger. As thanks, George gives Sonny a home and a job as a mechanic on his farm in the lonely Louisiana Bayou. Sonny quickly settles in and makes himself useful around the place but then Sonny meets Larissa, (Elika Portnoy) George's alluring wife. She has a mysterious past and the two are irresistibly drawn to each other. The two begin a passionate affair leading them to construct a twisted plot to take George's life in cold blood in order to be together. As their despicable plan unravels, they learn how far they are willing to go to cover their misdeed.Written by
Samuel Goldwyn Films
"Obsession" is a succession of mediocre scenes that leads to a somewhat satisfying ending.
The majority of this movie is painfully average. The premise is as old as the farm equipment occupying the setting, and Brad Dourif as the kindly older man who takes to Mekhi Phifer's character, Sonny, after Sonny rescues him from a robbery is the only real bright spot. As a longtime fan of Dourif's work, it's both refreshing and gratifying to see him get to play a warm character instead of a serial killer, wily racist or out-of-this-world weirdo, lol. He really deserves better offers -- the man is a Golden Globe winner/Oscar nominee/Emmy nominee, for Pete's sake.
Mekhi Phifer, who is usually a fine actor, doesn't fare all that well here with the subpar material. There's so little chemistry between him and Elika Portnoy -- who delivers a sleepy and largely ineffectual performance as the stock "hot wife" character -- that their (ample) sex scenes quickly become uncomfortable to watch. We're supposed care about and root for them, but there's nothing there to get invested in, which is a death knell for stories like these. The cashier, who delivers but a single line to Larissa, gives the second-best performance in the film. That should tell you everything.
Well, almost everything.
The tiny twist 3/4 of the way through is mildly piquing, as is the big twist at the end. To be honest, I was genuinely taken aback and pleased, from a darkly humorous point of view, about where we ended up and why.
The film is such a mixed bag, I don't know if I can safely recommend it or not. It's only 90 minutes, but many of those minutes are not terribly enjoyable. Still, Brad Dourif and the ending make this a touch above average for me -- a 5.5/10. Yet I'm only rating it a 5 overall because it IS a painful slog to get through the middle to get to the halfway decent ending.
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