Middle aged Sy Parrish works as a technician at a one hour photo lab located in a SavMart store in a suburban mall. Sy is a lonely man, never having had any friends. He knows much about his customers through the photographs they have developed. But he knows more about the Yorkin family - specifically Nina Yorkin and her adolescent son Jake Yorkin, the two in the family who drop off and pick up the family's photofinishing - the family about whom he is obsessed, than anyone else. Nina's husband, Will Yorkin, is incidental to his obsession since Sy has only seen him in photographs. Sy's obsession includes fantasizing about being their favorite "Uncle Sy". He has even been making an extra set of prints for himself of all of their photographs since Jake was a newborn. After an incident at work and after Sy finds out more about the family through a set of photographs, he decides to right the injustices he sees in the only way he knows how. His actions demonstrate his true mental state. Written by
The hotel where the abduction takes place, where Sy photographs the adulterers, is called "the Edgerton". This is a reference to the scientific engineer Harold "Doc" Edgerton, most famous for his pioneering work with high speed stroboscopic flash. This technique made it possible to photograph very high speed events, and some of Edgerton's most well-known images are of a bullet in flight cutting through a playing card, a bullet passing through an apple, a balloon bursting, and a drop of milk falling into a into a glass of milk, forming a perfect milk coronet. See more »
When Sy gets out of his car and starts to snapshot his chief's daughter, he is holding a photo camera with "Minolta aspherical lens" printed around the lens. Next second there is only "Aspherical lens" around. See more »
[Quoting Deepak Chopra]
The things you're most afraid of have already happened.
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One Hour Photo is a film of supreme caliber. The film is powered by the haunting, chilling, silencing, and above all-genius performance by Robin Williams. But the rather extraordinary thing is that it is not Robin Williams on the screen, it's Sy Parish (the character's name). Robin Williams fades away from our senses and slips into the ever so sweet and innocent yet psychotic role of a supermarket's photo developer. The films script is only accented by Williams, at times, restrained performance. Williams ignites on the screen and burns till the last frame, and you are unable to take your eyes off him. As I mentioned the film is subliminily written as well as directed. Though being Romanek's first, I certainly don't think this is a bad start. Romanek's direction adds to the on-going tension throughout the film. More affecting is Williams' delightful calmness. Trying to hold himself in becomes more troublesome for both Williams and his character as the story develops. Yet through the calm eyes of an innocent blaze the fires of hatred and intensity, which could very well sum up Williams' performance. The film does have some disturbing images as well. Yet they are not really strong enough for you to get up from your seat and leave yet rather the opposite. Williams' contribution as well as guidance towards the actions and scenes of peril compell as well as amaze you towards both the performance and film itself. Williams' shocking contribution to the screen is enough to make you cry, scream, and yell in your seat. Because the origins of the character are bittersweet just like own known Williams, leads to a crazed and psychotic breakdown. It's as if watching our own funny and beloved Robin fail us. Though the truth could not be any further, Williams but succeeds in the art of acting, creating an achievement in the field. Creating a landmark. Writing his/its own chapter. I guarantee that this film will be required study material in acting classes for now on. In conclusion: definitely one of the best of 2002.
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