Dr. Venkman Reviews: 'Transsiberian'

by Joey Paur

I had the opportunity to go out last night and catch this amazing little independent film Transsiberian. I saw the trailer for this movie awhile back and it looked really good. The movie is currently only in 32 theaters which sucks because the movie is pretty good and it seems like only people in LA and New York will get a chance to see for now.

Transsiberian was directed by Brad Anderson. I really like this guys work. I am not sure if you have heard of the films he has done but they are pretty awesome. ‘Session 9' is one of his films a horror/psychological thriller. This is one of my favorite horror movie for the fact that it takes place in a run down mental institute and it really screws with you head. Anderson has a knack for screwing with peoples heads. He also directed ‘The Machinist' with Christian bale that was fantastically dark. Transsiberian is another great psychological thriller from director Brad Anderson. He knows how to make a suspensful film.

Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer), start out in Beijing China on a church mission helping the kids. They are also a couple who are going through a rough time in their marriage. This little adventure to China was kind of a way to get the juices flowing in their relationship again, a little adventure. So the embark on a trip to take the Transsiberian from China.

While on the train they meet an attractive young couple who happen to be staying in the same living compartment. Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and Abby (Kate Mara), tell them that they travel the world giving language classes and re-selling handcraft, such as, Russian Matryoshka dolls.

Durring one point the train stops and they get out to look around. Roy is a train fanatic and gets separated from everyone while looking at some old trains. The train leaves without Roy and his wife and the 2 other passengers end up going ahead without him. Jessie, becomes extremely worried, her only option is to get off at the next station and wait until Roy comes by on the next train. Abby and Carlos get off the train as well to wait with her. At this point things start to turn and Carlos comes onto Jessie she starts freak out and begins to fight him off because he is just acting crazy. She ends up accidentally killing him. Jesse is scared to death at this point and leaves his body in the snow and goes back to the station. Roy has finally arrives and they get back on the train to move forward. Jesse is trying to forget about what happened But this is where the real nightmare begins. It is here they meet a police detective named Grinko (Ben Kingsley) looking for drug smugglers. This is were Jesse really starts to freak out.

The movie starts out slow. It uses the time to build up the characters and who they are. This movie is a great character study in this point. Some people may find it dull, but I found it interesting how it slowly moves you in the movie. As the characters are built up the story begins to gain momentum and the suspense just builds and builds until the climax hits. I loved the story, the characters and the suspense. It was a very 1940's Hitchcockian type film.

The acting was amazing. Woody Harrelson was great in this role it was a perfect fit for him as an actor. His character kind of remended me of when he played Woody on ‘Cheers'. The character is just a very happy go lucky kind a guy who loves trains. Heis just an innocent guy. Ben Kingsley was amazing as always, the guy can be scary as hell. Eduardo Noriega and Kate Mara were excellent. But it was Emily Mortimer's performance that stood out above the rest. Motimer performance was brilliant as this character Jessie. There were so many layer to this character and so much going on inside of her, the frustration, the fear, the love, the confusion and she pulled it off with a amazing performance.

If you like Alfred Hitchcock movies, if you like thrillers, and movies that mess with your head, or just good movies in genral, then Transsiberian is the movie for you. It was actually very nice to get out and see a great movie that wasn't a big budget superhero or comedy film. If its not playing at a theater near you, then you may have to wait for it to come out on DVD.

Transsiberian was a fantastic film. I was ableto enjoy the character development the first half of the film, and was on the edge off my seat, palms sweating the secod half of the film.

Whatever you decide to see remember to always enjoy you time at the movies.


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