100 Min | Drama – Mystery – Romance | June 2002
IMDB Rating: 5.4
Director: Kaige Chen
Starring: Heather Graham, Joseph Fiennes, Natascha McElhone
Killing Me Softly Review: ‘Killing Me Softly’ is an adaptation from the book with the same name from author Nicci French. Alice (Heather Graham) is an american working in London, with a steady even if somewhat boring life. She has a boyfriend who seems to be perfect, success at work and good honest friends. But all that changes, when she is struck by love at first sight. Adam (Joseph Fiennes) is a mountaineer, a mysterious, but also fascinating man. Leaving her whole life behind her, to be with her love, Alice truly is in `wonderland’, until anonymous notes start to arrive at her doorstep and making her think that perhaps her dream is actually a nightmare, and that she needs to wake up soon, or face a horrid destiny.
We all know what a big task it is to adapt a movie to the big screen. And how it’s almost impossible to fully emulate the book atmosphere and power leading often to big deceptions to the fans of the written work. However, in ‘KMS’, it seems that not even an effort was made to accomplish a faithful script. There is hardly any character development. Alice and especially Adam are static, one dimension ‘puppets’. The rhythm is painfully slow. The suspense is completely lost to an almost unbelievable predictability in the flow of the narrative. The plot reveals itself without the proper basis. The conclusions, the deductions, all falls from the air on to Alice’s dialogue. And the ending, changed for no reason, is too ridiculous to even mention. Its almost funny if it wasn’t so sad to see a good solid novel wasted on the hands of this production.
Heather Graham is not a talented actress. She delivers, but never amazes. She doesn’t have the looks or body required for the part and this makes her notoriously uncomfortable throughout the scenes. She’s very clearly not a strong lead and the movie suffers severely from that. Joseph Fiennes has the looks and uses them but the result is an incredibly dull performance. He has one expression in all the scenes, and is almost incapable of creating the slightest bit of emotion. Too cold, too fake. ‘Killing Me Softly’ is a thriller, sexy and an attempt at a good film.