An Unexpected Detour.
Amini’s mysterious yet one dimensional equation among his three dimensional characters is a calculative risk that works as a madhouse entertainment but is a hollow arthouse merchandise. This film-noir style espionage themed tale is a huge triumph on terms of its linearity and simplicity. Unfortunately, Amini is either unaware of this hidden gold or fails to milk it out in the narration. The adapted screenplay is tightly gripping and far away from being layered, the essence that deepens the gist of the tale in the book, is shucked out by fabricating it into a 60s style cutlery, hairstyle or fashioned clothes.
The brief periods where the morale crisis of good and bad puts our characters into a signified breathtaking drama, is clearly scoffed out to match the pace and clock it at an early hour. Such an unreasonable hurried take on this complex tale ironically bites the makers back to them. The production has earned a cast of such high caliber and it pays off more than enough for them. Mortensen as a rotten millionaire is the ringmaster of this flipping circus, his drunken persona sobers up the film whenever it fumbles on storytelling.
Another similar shady character of Isaac is a challenge to Mortensen, he manages to keep raising the bar till the last frame. Often or not, female character in such genre holds most of the cards, and holding onto all such uncertain maps Dunst is convincingly delivering to the tale. Personally, the first act felt much more enthralling to me than the second one, since the breakfast and dinner table conversations among these three characters keeps you at the brisk of your speculative emotion. The Two Faces Of January in the end turns out to be a familiar face, striking horn to horn on screen for power and emotions, it falls on mediocrity.