Halloween Countdown: Day 13 – The Ninth Gate

From: October 18, 2011

This is one of the most under-rated movies of all time. I seriously don’t understand why so many people have not seen this movie, because it is very intelligently crafted, and even stars heart-throb Johnny Depp. My assumption is that popcorners read the back cover, notice that the movie is about a book, and assume that it must be boring. They could not be more wrong!

the ninth gate

The plot itself is simple; Depp portrays Corso, a rare books dealer who is charged with finding the last two copies of a volume which was supposedly crafted in a partnership between the author and The Devil himself. According to enthusiasts of the text, only one of the three volumes of “The Nine Gates” is the true copy, while the other two are forgeries, and Corso  has been charged with the task of finding the true copy of the text for a collector. Of course, the collectors motives are nefarious, and other folks get in Corso’s way left and right. It is not until Corso lucks into working with a beautiful and mysterious woman with green eyes, that he is able to pull the pieces together. It’s no secret that this woman is The Devil, or else an incarnation of The Devil, and Emmanuelle Seigner was a superb choice for the role because she has such an appealing an androgynous face.

Obviously, I can’t tell you what happens. I will say that the final portion of the plot is no way unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean the film isn’t a good one. The portrayal of Satanic rights are both stereotypical, and mesmerizing at the same time. The tiny details along the way also make this movie a great one. The woodblock prints in the books, the intricate shelving and display of the book shops, the neatly tied symbolism; all of these elements lend to the over-all tone of the film, which is the greatest advantage of the work.

Roman Polanski sure did it right this time!


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