The only thing I knew about Wicker Park before catching it was that it belonged to a lesser-known genre called the ‘romantic thriller’.
Naturally, Wicker Park opens with an atmosphere of mystery, a certain elusive quality evoked mostly by director Paul McGuigan’s disorienting but lyrical narrative style and perhaps, Josh Hartnett’s dreamy eyes.
By the time 30 minutes have passed, you’ll have tried to make several conclusions about ‘what’s really going on’ but you’re really only going to get one right: it’s a love story. The rest, ladies and gentleman, unfolds like a jigsaw puzzle being put together randomly.
Here’s a little backgrounder to get you prepped: Matthew (Josh Hartnett) falls in love with Lisa (Diane Kruger), a beautiful resplendent dancer, but their romance is cut off by a strange turn of events (don’t worry, the pieces come together eventually). Fast-forward two years and the once broken Matt appears to have put his life into place.
However, he has a chance encounter with Lisa, and as he follows snippets of clues, they lead him to Alex (Rose Bryne). Just as Matt is convinced he was mistaken, the film unravels with urgent velocity, with each revelation hurtling towards the film’s dramatic conclusion.
Visually, Wicker Park is a feast, moving as lucidly and gracefully as a dancer. Its plot may prove a little too meandering, but when you reach the end of the road, the experience is nonetheless satisfying.