Making the Grades
The Truth About Charlie is a remake of the 1963 movie Charade, starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. But if you are expecting the same romantic charm of the original, think again. Director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, Beloved) has fashioned an edgier thriller with a decidedly French feel set in a modern day Paris.
Despite the fact that she has only been married three months, Regina Lambert (Thandie Newton) is ready for a divorce when she returns from a solo holiday abroad. But instead of finding her husband Charlie (Stephen Dillane) back at the flat, she discovers an empty, ransacked apartment and a detective (Christine Boisson) waiting with some questions about her spouse's murder. She also learns that six million dollars are missing money that both Charlie's old war buddies and the U.S. Government want to recover. Money they believe Regina has hidden.
Bewildered by the sudden events, the young widow accepts the help of Joshua Peters (Mark Wahlberg) when he unexpectedly shows up at her door. After a brief meeting on the beach, he is ready to offer his condolences and assist her, especially when the former soldiers put pressure on the confused woman to hand over the cash. Working with an American operative (Tim Robbins) and the French police, Regina agrees to help uncover the killer. But as the body count rises, she realizes it's hard to know whom you can trust.
Parents may also find it hard to trust the film's content when it comes to family viewing. Bloody victims and dead bodies are the result of war battles, car chases and fist fights depicted in a film with an unquestionably mature theme. Adulterous relationships, brief but clearly portrayed nudity, a couple in bed and an obscured shower scene contribute to the steamy sexual content.
But what may be most unsettling for all viewers after watching this movie are their stomachs. Even though the key creators have legions of mainstream film credits, this outing feels more like a student art film. Entirely shot with hand held or body-mounted cameras, along with frenetic editing, the real truth about Charlie is you may leave feeling more queasy than entertained.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Truth About Charlie.
Movies often do things that are illogical. For instance, why could Joshua keep up with the man running to the apartment but not Regina when she was running away from him in high-heeled shoes? How do directors manipulate scenes to achieve their desired effect?
Regina is portrayed as very trusting. What situations did she find herself in that would make you feel uncomfortable in your own life? What safety issues do you consider when meeting someone for the first time, either in person or on the Internet?