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Secret Window

Abstract This paper explores the review of the movie – Secret Window. It talks about in detail on how the movie shows the two side of a human behavior – the good and the evil and how things can go if one cannot have a control over its mind. It clearly shows the aftermath of it and sends a message to the viewer’s as well.

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Based on Stephen king’s novella “Secret Window, Secret Garden” (1990) , this movie inspires people to take a look at themselves and decide what is good and bad.

The movie was released in 2004, and was mentioned as one of the best work of Stephen King by all the film viewer’s and the critics. In this paper, the history, thesis, story, moral and a conclusion is given about the movie. The movie is a drama thriller and it keeps audience at the edge of their seats for the entire 106 minutes. The movie explains about the life of a writer who is in a state of depression after a divorce from his wife and how this incident changes his whole life. The suspense and thrillers in this movie will definitely make this movie very enjoyable.

The purpose of this paper is to review the movie and explain how this movie can become a huge factor in the lives of the people. The goal of this paper is to show what it has given to its viewers and how this can affect them. Secret Window Secret Window is a psychological thriller released in 2004 and adapted from a Stephen King novel,” Secret Window, Secret Garden”. It stars Johnny Depp as Mort Rainey, a Successful mystery writer who is suffering from a serious case of writer’s block primarily caused by an unfortunate divorce from his wife Amy.

Whom he caught cheating with her new boyfriend Ted Milner. Mort retreats to a lakeside cabin trying to finish a novel despite his lack of inspiration and growing resentment for his wife. Mort’s solitary life in the woods is disturbed when a mysterious man named John Shooter appears on his doorstep accusing him of plagiarism by claiming that Mort has word-for-word had stolen a story he had written years before, and published it in the Ellery Queen Street Magazine. The identical stories were Mort’s “Secret Window” and Shooter’s “Sowing Season”.

Shooter demands to Mort,” Fix it. Make it Right! ” in a southern accent and proposed to re work the ending of the story. The intruder Sends increasingly persuasive signals that he means business, first putting a screwdriver through Mort’s Dog, then burning down the New York home where Amy lives with her new partner before progressing to brutal murder. The movie ends when Mort realizes that Shooter is only a figment of his imagination, reveals this to his wife, and later kills her and her lover with a shovel and buries them in a garden where he later plants a crop of corn.

By nature writers are quirky people. While they may pay attention to the mundane details of life in a painful manner, they are often unaware of their own behavior. While in the pursuit of a story they may pace around as the rough idea of pages come to them, or sit for hours staring at the screen thinking of the next precise word. They have a tendency to snack constantly rather than break for a meal and to remain in the same dirty clothes rather than break for a shower. I know this behavior because as a writer I’ve done all of it at some point or another.

That’s the first part of the psychological thriller “Secret Window” that made me sits up and takes notice – a writer named Mort Rainey. In the film “Secret Window”, directed by David Koepp, the theme of the double is used to represent the protagonist’s “dark side”. This was realized through the portrayal of Shooter as Stalker and the use of two different kinds of hats, Mort’s depression from the divorce, and the ending in Mort’s story “Secret Window”. Rooney claimed that “the story is a chronicle of a man becoming steadily disturbed, engaged in a bickering dialogue with himself and increasingly ruled by the demons in his head”.

Mort’s emotional trauma from the divorce robbed him off his inspiration and put him in a state of worst writer’s block. His negative feeling’s formed an evil-like alter-ego, in the person of Shooter, which overshadowed his real persona. Shooter was part of himself as displayed by his behaviors in the movie. First, Shooter seemed to appear at bad times, to know everything about Mort’s life and to make his quest for the magazine harder. Shooter accused that Mort copied a story he has written a few years back and demanded that Mort fixed it. Mort promised to get a copy of the magazine where the story was published to know his innocence.

However, Shooter was a violent, impatient man, stalking Mort and making increasingly worse things happen as the magazine failed to arrive. Mort eventually located the magazine that would have proven he published “Secret Window” before Shooter wrote “Sowing Season” but the story had been cut out. Second, there were two hats used in the film. One was Mort’s Knit hat and the other was Shooter’s tall brimmed hat. The hat represented two different personas. Whenever Mort got up from his couch of depression to do something he put on his going-out knit hat.

Shooter’s hat was kept at a distance at first but began to close in on Mort as the story progressed. When he actually placed the hat on his own head, the dark inner workings of his soul were revealed. The use of Shooter also demonstrated the high cost of marital infidelity and the kind of evil that can be unleashed when one person chooses to follow his sinful desires. It presented the aftermath of divorce and the kind of nightmare that it brings. Mort’s fascination with unending naps and liquors, as well as his tendency to walk around in his wife’s tattered bathrobe and sport a weird hairdo revealed longing for his wife.

Also, Mort’s work “Secret Window” which Shooter claimed as plagiarized narrated the experience of a man who is betrayed by his wife, and decides to kill her and bury her in her beloved garden. When Mort finally realized that Shooter was only a fabrication of his imagination brought so vividly to life through undetected dissociative identity disorder to commit acts that Mort himself felt he could not commit, his concerned ex-wife tried to help him out but Mort was already overpowered by Shooter. He killed his wife and lover with a shovel and buried them in a garden where he later planted with corn.

The movie’s ending was highlighted with Mort’s line “The Only thing that matters is the ending…and this one’s perfect”. The finale showed that the evil has won. The local sheriff told Mort that he knew about the murder and as soon as the bodies were found, Mort would pay for the crime. Mort nonchalantly ignored the threat because he knew that the ending of his story would be an impeccable culmination. His decision to plant, grow and consume corn from the garden where his ex-wife and her lover were buried meant that he was actually destroying all the evidence needed to implicate him with the crime.

In my opinion, Depp is definitely the highlight of the movie, which is good since he’s the character the movie revolves around. In interacting with his ex-wife (Maria Bello) we can see the pain and the love he still holds for her. Rainey’s spats with her boyfriend Ted (Timothy Hutton) show his anger. Yet none of that holds a candle to his conversations with himself. Rainey spends at least a third of the film alone, but we never feel that he’s isolated. Out-of-nowhere quips and commentary about the situations Rainey finds himself in provide real depth to Rainey as a struggling writer.

That is where the real genius of Depp’s work on this character comes from. I think the director David Koepp does an excellent job of bringing “Secret Window” to the screen. On the writing side he has taken a short story by Stephen King and created a strong and suspenseful plot, highlighted by complete and memorable characters as a solid base for his actors to work with. On the directorial side, he understands how a psychological thriller should work and makes his movie follow those rules. The movie builds just as a story of this type should and the audience is never ahead of the movie.

But Perhaps, I think that the biggest problem with the movie is Turturro’s awful turn as Mississippi hick John Shooter. There is nothing menacing or threatening about this guy, even after he starts taking revenge on Rainey. He is simply annoying. The scenes between Shooter and Rainey are excruciating because the novelist is so obviously unimpressed by the threats that there is no tension built between the two. The rest of the cast, including Charles S. Dutton, as a private investigator, and Timothy Hutton as Amy’s lover, are completely wasted and seem to be just going through the motions of this flat thriller.

The biggest problem, however, is that because there is no menace or tension built up throughout the picture, the ending, for all its obviousness, seems rather abrupt and wholly unmotivated and without cause. All in all, this movie is a great movie to watch and is sure to have the audiences at the edge of their seats. There’s always something going on in the movie which will have the audience glued at their screens. The Movie was a creation that aspired to arouse psychological enquiry as well as portray the dilemma within human nature which is the battle between good and evil.

The plot of the movie was a subtle journey from the lead character’s emotional and psychological stresses caused by the two most common traumas in human experience – infidelity and betrayal. Mort’s hatred towards his wife’s cheating consumed his creativity and left him in a state of severe incapability to even come up with a single line for a story. These negative emotional factors brought into life a dark alter-ego Shooter, who became his companion in a sinister of events that led him to realizing that his stalker was actually a fiction of his mind.

Koepp’s movie was helpful in portraying that a person’s self can actually be his greatest enemy. As human’s experience life and it’s varying degrees of complexities and stresses, a person has to deal with letting go off the past and moving on with the present to have a renewed view of the future. It is narration of how a person writes his personal story by making important decisions. Mort had a hard time doing this. The book of his life started with chaos and he ended it by choosing evil, which was basically more chaotic. Hence, this movie is sure to have the audience interested and I personally enjoyed watching this movie.