The Game

The Game ★★★★★

David Fincher - the man responsible for Se7en - made a Michael Douglas vehicle right after his true first hooray into cinema, and right before his magnum opus Fight Club.

That film was The Game. A film that descends into the dark madness of a very troubled mind. Nicholas is not your average man. Memories of his father's suicide have plagued his life. And to make matters worse, he's about to celebrate becoming the age his father was when he took his own life.

So to help make things better, Nicholas' brother, Conrad, has offered him an invitation to play a game. Nicholas, after much putting it off, decides to take his brother up on the offer.

After Nicholas shows up for his appointment, has taken all the necessary - albeit strange - tests and is on his way back to his normal every day uneventful life, he starts to realize that odd things are happening to him.

First it begins one night when he's coming back home from work. Some doll is lying in his driveway. Now what the hell would a doll be lying in his driveway for. Nicholas warns his estate maid, or keeper as I like to call her, that someone - probably some teens - is playing some kind of prank.

Everything seems fine. Until Nicholas takes the doll into his mansion. What follows is one of the most entertaining and chilling scenes cinema has to offer...

And from there on, things only get worse and worse. Nicholas is being hunted, stalked and black-mailed. He's even having to fend for his very life. Thankfully though, he has an accomplice to help him on the way. A young lady - who he happen to bump into by accident "supposedly" - is there by his side for most of the remainder of the film.

And not even she Nicholas can fully trust. As nothing and no one is what or who they seem.

The way Fincher guides us through all this mayhem and paranoia is just phenomenal. Every ounce of camera work. Every ounce of acting is brilliant. And along the way, we are enraptured in deliciously dark and brooding angles and lighting effects.

Fincher is the master when it comes to presentation. Very few other directors living today have such an act for highly stylized and such imaginative ways of shooting their films.

In this regard, Fincher is like Hitchcock. The comparisons between their films is seamless. Hitchcock made mind-bending thrillers accompanied by great actors, scores and exceptional set designs and camera work. Same case is with Fincher.

In my opinion, he is the modern Hitchcock. And like Hitchcock, every single one of his works is made with such perfection.

The Game being no exception. Though I said all Fincher's works are perfect. It is his works of the 90s - not including Alien 3 - that remain his most atmospheric and most rich.

Before I get ahead of myself - and off the subject of reviewing the immediate film - I will simply end my review saying this...

The Game is an astonishing and admirable portrayal of madness. It is constantly thrilling. Constantly provocative. Constantly charming to the eyes - mind- and spirit with its ever so dark and slightly gothic splendor.

Overall, it remains a timeless cinematic treat. And proves that Fincher - along with his other works - remains the king of modern mystery and true unadulterated suspense.

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