A tale within a tale within a tale of three authors; at its core a scenario of plagiarism, the act of stealing another’s idea, lying and convincing the world, and yourself, it is your creation, your brain-child; it has been around since antiquity, and undoubtedly will continue until the end of time.
This is a good film: well- scripted, presented, comprised of an excellent cast. Bradley Cooper stars (also produces) as the conflicted novelist, “plagiarist” “Rory Jansen” whose lust for approbation, recognition, of his skill has gone unrequited; years of drudging, agonizing hours in front of a computer; words, thousands of words, cascading, sculpting thundering thoughts, doors of the dictionary opening, spilling forth at a spell-binding pulse, pungently powerful, potent language never realized on a page before. Rory, flawed but likeable, must address his trepidations, limitations; torpedo his wife’s (lovely, lithesome Zoe Saldana) gustatory worship, carve a life from the rubble of a diminished psyche.
Jeremy Irons as the wronged author is mesmerizing; he empowers his performance with immense dignity; living a life in obscurity; one brief moment of brilliance, a supernova; a manuscript composed in the late 1940’s; uniquely compelling, beautiful, never to be replicated, gone forever, until Rory rears his plagiaristic “pen”.
Dennis Quaid completes the triad, as a successful writer, narrating his most recent book entitled “The Words” and weaves the plot, lacking transparency, that deliciously allows the viewer to decipher.
One is left pondering what drives someone to literary kidnapping; what transpires, deforms one’s judgment when the realization strikes that your “best” is frozen mediocrity; a psychological Rubix Cube, demanding years on the “couch” of an expert in the deviations, inconsistencies of the human condition. Herein lies the success of “The Words”.
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!