Roman Polanski's latest work The Ghost Writer is a social commentary on the British government's subordination to the U.S. government. Ewan McGregor plays The Ghost, an unnamed character hired based on the lack of his political knowledge to Ghost Write a memoir for former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan). It is because his lack of political knowledge that The Ghost convinces his publisher that he will be able to ask the questions everybody will want to know, getting to the heart of the matter.
Lang however, is accused of having committed War Crimes, as he is believed to have ordered the torturing of suspected terrorists. This causes disruptions in the writing process, while also peaking The Ghosts' curiosity to why it is that Lang got involved with politics to begin with as upon researching his earlier years, he was anything by political as a Theatre student. The Ghost while staying at Lang's home, stumbles upon information gathered by a previous Ghost Writer, who had died suspiciously while working on the same memoir. He then discovers various points of contact along the way who help him fit together the missing pieces to the puzzle and his loyalties are then questioned. At the same time, he realizes also that he is being pursued as this memoir is highly sought after for its possibly incriminating information. Is The Ghost working for a War Criminal? More importantly, will he make it out of this alive? And what's up with Lang's creepy wife Ruth (Olivia Williams)?
Polanski is a master of suspense and he tells a very intense story here. I was very much on-edge most through most of The Ghost Writer. McGregor is excellent walking into this story with a clean slate, and in his performance we identify with his need to solve the mystery of Lang's role in the War Crimes he is accused of. There is always a sense of imminent danger, which we gain through the story's supporting characters like Ruth, his assistant Amelia (the miscast Kim Cattrall) and colleague Paul Emmett (the excellent Tom Wilkinson) who inexplicably denies having any real link to Lang. Brosnan although getting limited screen time, delivers a powerful performance which constantly makes us question whether he is good or evil.
Beautifully shot The Ghost Writer has gotten only a limited amount of buzz, but nonetheless it is a very decent film even though its story line does get a little muddied with its many complex twists and turns. The Summit Entertainment film is definitely worth a watch - even if it's just to hear Cattrall's atrocious British accent. Grade: B+