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“Duplicity” {Blu-ray}
Wayne Klein
Studio: Universal
Release Date:
Special Features:

Commentary track by Tony and John Gilroy


Tony Gilroy wants to confuse and entertain you. No, they aren’t contradictory things. The best summary that I can give you of “Duplicity” a splendid thriller from Gilroy who wrote and directed “Michael Clayton” is that a pair of former spooks Ray (Clive Owen) and Claire (Julia Roberts) take work with a security company working for Richard Garsik (Paul Giamatti) who wants to find out what secret product his hated rival at Burkett & Randle C.E.O. Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinnson) is bringing to market. ***

Gilroy does takes the triple cross thriller like Hitchcock often made and turns it into a quadruple cross thrill ride. He does so by dropping hints about Ray and Clarie’s background, motive in participating in corporate espionage who can on-up the other in this clever, humorous and convoluted suspense thriller. The complex story structure of the film by itself is a minor miracle but the fact that it all comes together in the final minutes of the movie is icing on the cake. I don’t want to reveal any more of the plot because it will spoil the fun of discovery. ***

Gilroy continues to demonstrate that he’s a major player with talent to burn with the screenplays he has penned over the last decade along with this his second film as a director. The performances are uniformly excellent and Gilroy handles the cast with subtly and skill bringing out the best in all his performers particularly Julia Roberts who of late hasn’t given the most appealing performances. ---

Image & Sound:

“Duplicity” doesn’t just have razor sharp wit in the dialogue and performances it also has it in spades with a brilliant, colorful and detailed transfer. ***

Dialogue remains crystal clear throughout. The music and sound has a nice, lively open quality to them.

Special Features:

We get a great commentary track with director Gilroy joined by his brother editor and co-producer John Gilroy. They do a terrific job giving us insight into early ideas for the film that were later jettisoned or altered to make the film work better. It’s a pity this film wasn’t a bigger hit in theaters but quite honestly most audiences don’t want to be challenged with an entertaining and thoughtful thriller today. Instead, they want to see giant robots that turn into cars battle each other. There’s nothing wrong with that but when toys turned into cartoons and movies dominate the box office so completely, it’s a sad state of affairs. ***

It’s a pity there aren’t any other special features for this terrific movie. ---

Final Words:

A terrific humorous thriller, “Duplicity” will at first throw you off because it doesn’t reveal the basic set up in the first fifteen minutes of the movie like a more traditional one might but that’s part of the charm and fascination of this rollercoaster thriller with a brain.


Copyright @ Teakwood Productions 2000
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