Right from the start you could feel that Derailed is going to be a movie worth watching. Not only does it have an all-star cast and great production values but it also features an intense and gripping story. We will be following two lovers who after cheating on their spouses get caught in a web of crime, violence, and murder. And hot, steamy sex, we should not forget about that part of the story. If this sounds like it’s coming straight off the pages of a good novel, it’s because it’s coming off the pages of a good novel.
The director is Mikael Håfström and this was his first American movie. He went on to direct 1408 and The Rite. Derailed was also the first movie released by The Weinstein Company that became a true powerhouse in the coming years. While we’re dropping names, I guess now is as good a time as any to talk about the cast of this movie. Our three leads, Owen, Aniston, and Cassel carried the movie on their shoulders. Their excellent performances made up for all the plot holes and annoying little details but more about that later. Now, I want to bring to your attention the supporting cast.
We have two accomplished rappers, RZA and Xzibit giving surprisingly good performances. And to top things off, none other than Mr. Gustavo Fring is here as well. I’m talking about, of course, Giancarlo Esposito. Highly atmospheric, dark, and, most of all, suspenseful, Derailed is a thriller that’s going to capture your attention. So much so that you won’t notice that Charles Schine and his family live in this mansion and yet never think of selling it and other plot holes. Still, the sheer potency of the plot and possible identification with our lead character overshadows that.
One of the worst things that a parent can experience is the death of a child. The only thing that comes close is the slow and prolonged dying of your child (come to think of it, the latter one might be worse). Charles and Deanna Schine and their diabetic daughter Amy are one seemingly happy family. Amy has type one diabetes, the worst kind, but luckily her parents are making enough money to cover the expenses. However, this does not mean that this is easy, working hard and being constantly under pressure Charles is worn out by this. One day he accidentally meets Lucinda Harris, a good-looking businesswoman neglected by her husband, on a train. Sparks fly, and two lovebirds soon find themselves in a cheap hotel. And this is where the trouble begins.
Derailed is surprisingly violent and even disturbing at times for a supposedly mainstream thriller. I don’t want to go into details but just be ready for that. I’m guessing the impactful nature of these scenes also helps to cover up any other mistakes. In the end, I really liked this movie. The main premise was realistic and quite gloomy, just the way I like it. And the characters felt familiar. You could see yourself falling for a sexy girl in the midst of a difficult period of your life. What your reactions would be to all the events that followed is up to you to think about…
Although I just keep coming back to Jennifer Aniston all soaked from the rain and on her way to a sleazy hotel room. I really don’t know why…
Director: Mikael Håfström
Writers: Stuart Beattie, James Siegel
Cast: Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Vincent Cassel, Melissa George, RZA, Xzibit, Giancarlo Esposito
Fun Facts: There are three remakes of this movie, two Indian ones and one Ghanian.