Tony Gilroy, writer/director of Michael Clayton, constructs something unique with his latest film, Duplicity. Starring Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, Duplicity comprises itself of equal parts romantic comedy and espionage films. Gilroy’s screenplay, while intricately constructed, may become too labyrinthine in its twists and turns for some people to follow. Luckily the real joy of the film doesn’t depend on following every little detail thrown in front of you. Instead, the real pleasure comes from the relationship between the main characters, two spies who decide to team up for an ultimate score. All the while, they play cat-and-mouse games with each other as neither one completely trusts the other.
This film reminded me of something like Charade; the kind of film that doesn’t get made much nowadays. Some of the exchanges between Owen and Roberts recalled the quick-fire dialog found in an old screwball comedy. And although I bring up these older references, Duplicity is thoroughly modern in its subject matter. The film takes a satirical look at corporate greed, bringing things to the most extremely ludicrous level.
In short, it’s a smart film, made for adults.