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What’s Fiction and What’s Reality?


By Christy Blevins

Too many times in this generation, new movies have been remakes and plot-less actions or thrillers. However, “The Words”, released to theaters on September 7, is a well-written story that is neither an action nor a romance, but just about life and reality.

Directed and written by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, this 96 minute movie contains all the necessities for a layered drama. Here’s a rundown in case you’ve been wondering what all this is about and the previews keep you guessing.  Beware of spoilers ahead.

“The Words” follows the lives of a young, struggling writer, Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) and his wife, Dora (Zoe Saldana).  The audience sees the development of Rory’s rejection in his career through fast paced scenes of flipping through his numerous rejection letters from publishing agencies. After a few years, Rory decides to maintain a “real” job to support his new wife. After they marry, the newlyweds honeymoon in Paris and when she forces him into an antique shop, Rory finds an old leather satchel. Inside this satchel is an old manuscript which Rory believes is better than anything he could ever write. The story will not leave his mind and its raw emotion haunts him even in his sleep. Rory soon finds himself stealing the novel and passing it off as his own.

This PG-13 movie, focuses on the little events and decisions of the main character Rory and the old man who actually wrote the manuscript (Jeremy Irons). However, within this already clever enough story line lies a larger one, that of successful novelist Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid).

Believe it or not the entire Rory and old man story line is actually the plot of Quaid’s character’s newest novel. Rory is a fictional character and his story is being read aloud to an audience by author Clay Hammond. The movie begins by following the life of Rory who stole the novel of a stranger, and then the old man tells Rory the background of his life, which is all being read aloud to a real audience by another author. Talk about “Inception”.  But who is Clay Hammond really? The end of the movie leaves the audience questioning everything that they just saw.

As good as an idea “The Words” was, it does have its flaws. The main characters develop slowly, if they develop at all, which gives the movie a slow feel. Maybe this was done on purpose however. With the characters semi developed, it gives the audience more things to consider

All in all the focus on the interweaving plots makes “The Words” an exciting and swift movie. Both stories here are shown in a timely fashion but with so much information the film stops itself from being great, but remains only at good.  And even though with its flaws, “The Words” is a movie you will undoubtedly discuss and analyze.  Each question leads you to another question in which ultimately you, the viewer, will have to decide what is the truth? And that truth is: “The Words” is a movie you will have to see again.

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