08th Jul2014

‘Deception’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess, Sylvia Hoeks, Donald Sutherland, Philip Jackson, Dermot Crowley, Liya Kebede | Written and Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore


Deception is a thriller about Virgil Oldman (Geoffrey Rush), a famous auctioneer and art appraiser who is called to go through an estate of Claire Ibbetson (Sylvia Hoeks). On arriving at the house, he finds a strange rusty set of mechanical gears which pique his interest. At the same time he becomes intrigued with the estate owner herself, an agoraphobic who refuses to meet with him or anyone face to face. Whilst gathering pieces of mechanical gears from around her house and gathering artwork to sell at auction, the usually reserved and reclusive Virgil attempts to coax the woman out of her shell.

There is a strangely gloomy and dark atmosphere to Deception as we follow Virgil, the uptight, slightly germophobic and arrogant auctioneer as he stalks around, not above yelling at his clients if they do not act polite and punctually. The tale weaved in this film sees him change as his obsession with Claire grows, breaking the rules more, and questioning his life. But throughout the film the audience is always left wondering, does his want her or does he want the art? Where do his true passions lie?

Geoffrey Rush, who I know best for his performance as Captain Barbossa in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, definitely shines through with his performance as Virgil here. The arrogance and loneliness almost drip off him at the start of the film and he sustains a very believable performance throughout. This believability is mirrored in Sylvia Hoeks’s performance as the terrified agoraphobic who is left screaming at the slightest thought of being seen by a person. The love scenes did make me feel a bit uncomfortable, the age difference being quite significant, but it works with the overall feeling of the film, two reclusive people being drawn together.

When I said ‘thriller’ though, don’t expect a fast paced, action driven film. Deception is definitely a lot slower, a bit like Virgil’s life. A slow, almost sedate piece as the winding tale is revealed in front of us. The back and forth between the two main characters as they switch from sweet nothing through a door to yelling how much they hate each other. We see Virgil as an auctioneer and as a collector of art pieces to an almost insane level. The film does drag a little bit and it did lose my attention at a few points, but it is quick to draw you back in with a shock or an unexpected twist which will keep you watching until the end.

Deception is released on DVD on July 21st, courtesy of Signature Entertainment.


Comments are closed.