‘The Words’ satisfies, but does not exceed expectations


Mina Hamblet and Mary McGrath, News Editor and Staff Writer

Can you accept the life you give yourself? It is a prominent theme in the movie “The Words,” a movie about a man’s rise to fame on the plagiarized work of another.

In a way, “The Words” is a bit of a literary inception, meaning a movie about a story within a story within a story. Bradley Cooper plays Rory Jenson, a struggling writer who cannot seem to get the words to flow for him. That is, until he finds a manuscript in Paris, and publishes the story under his own name, titling it “The Window Tear.” The fame and fortune which quickly follow are short lived as the real author, The Old Man (Jeremy Irons) comes to talk to him about the meaning of the story, forcing him to come to terms with his actions.

The film begins with author Clayton Hammond’s (Dennis Quaid) reading of his book “The Words,” based off Jenson and the young couple Jenson supposedly wrote about.

Irons is one of the better actors in the film. There is a certain quality in the way he delivers every line given to him, and his calming voiceovers lead into the third plotline of the film, the tale of a young American soldier (Ben Barnes), later The Old Man, stationed in Paris and his Parisian lover Celia (Nora Arnezeder).

Barnes and Arnezeder both do a commendable job in their roles. While their dialogue is sparse, their storyline is the most heartfelt and gripping. In fact, it makes the modern day plotlines with Cooper and Quaid seem unnecessary, the back story can and maybe should, stand alone.

The movie is not long, though the viewers wish it to be longer in order to develop a better emotional connection with the characters. The audience most likely felt a deeper connection with the two young lovers, than with any of the other plotlines.

The numerous plotlines and characters mean that “The Words” becomes a case of breadth over depth. A character such as Olivia Wilde’s seems needless and poorly portrayed at best. The only real plotline truly worth the time watching is the young man and his love.

Other actors such as Zoe Saldana (Rory Jenson’s wife) don’t seem to pull the audience in any direction. She is neither exceptional nor dreadful, though the connection between her and Cooper never is 100% there. While it was her initial push that got the story published, her character little else to the overall plotline.

While Cooper does not always tend to do movies outside of the action and love story genre, this film seemed to be bit of a stretch for him. While it is commendable, it does not seem like he was able to fully capture the audience with his performance.

The storyline of the young man and his love is captivating, but the ending of the film has a true potential which does not see itself through.

The ending doesn’t give a sense of finality, and leaves too many unanswered questions. There is a certain click and emotion which is lacking and no final push to propel it over the top. Yet there is a certain sweetness and charm from actors such as Irons, Barnes and Arnezeder who save the story.

Overall, “The Words” is a captivating film. It leaves the viewers with enough to be applauded, but yet more to be desired.