Just Been Watching…(43)

Lots of sport on TV at the moment, so I have had the chance to catch up on some neglected DVD purchases. I bought this used copy for less than £1, so didn’t expect too much.

Columbus Circle (2012)

***No spoilers***

A modern American thriller that on the surface at least, appears to offer nothing new. In the New York district of Columbus Circle, wealthy residents live in very expensive apartment blocks; their needs and whims catered to by devoted and obsequious doormen. The film starts in one such block, with the murder of an elderly resident. Hearing the news, Abigail, a young woman in the opposite apartment writes a letter to the management, asking if she can buy the property owned by the dead lady. She doesn’t want to move into it, she just wants to exclude the possibility of having neighbours.

The Police arrive to investigate, with one detective suspecting foul play, rather than the accident that everyone assures him was the cause. When attempting to interview the young woman opposite, he discovers that she is a recluse. She has never left her apartment, and not once left the building since the day she moved in. Everything she needs is brought in by the doorman, who happily fulfills all of her requests. When she eventually grants the detective an interview, she is unhelpful, and distant. This just makes him more interested, and he begins to delve into her past.

Cue the back story of a missing heiress, with a massive fortune. The media has been searching for her since she disappeared as a teenager, and her story reappears on the news now and again. Then a couple move into the apartment opposite, angering the young woman who wanted to buy it. She soon discovers that the attractive blonde neighbour, Lillian, is being physically abused by her hard-drinking boyfriend, and after a violent attack one night, Abigail reluctantly gives her shelter, and a shaky friendship begins. Lillian finds out that Abigail is terrified of leaving the apartment. Her years of seclusion have left her with agoraphobia, and she can’t even manage to walk out into the hallway. As well as the doorman, Klanderman, she relies on Raymond, a doctor who is an old family friend, for advice and support.

So far, nothing much, I agree. But then the film moves up a gear. It piles one twist upon another, and we are soon aware that Abigail may not only have that dark past, but she is also in danger from almost everyone that surrounds her. The conclusion is a satisfying double-twist, following some dramatic, and not always predictable events. The strengths of the film come from the excellent Giovanni Ribisi as the dogged detective, and co-writer Kevin Pollack, as the doorman who may not be all he seems. Add a small but important role for Beau Bridges as Raymond, the kindly doctor, and you are left with a competent thriller that ticks many boxes. The cast believe it, and I went with them at the end.

Not bad, for less than £1. Here’s the official trailer.

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