Ten 'til Noon
interesting new-noir film made doubly intriguing by its unorthodox
story structure, Ten 'til Noon is about just that ten minutes in
the life of ten people who are involved in a crime in different ways.
The story continually doubles back on itself to show the ten minutes of the
plot from another participants' points of view adding layers of
information to the point that we realize that nothing we originally assumed
about the action is quite what we thought was happening. We watch from
11:50 to 12:00 in all of these lives, see how they intersect and overlap and
try to figure out who is doing what to whom.
We start in the bedroom of
a businessman who has just returned from Europe. He is awakened by a
smooth hit man (played by Alfonso Freeman, who not only looks like but also
shares the intense acting style of his father, Morgan). The hit man
tells the businessman that his wife is having an affair and after the ten
minutes we cut back to that affair in progress. Then we see it from
the point of view of a pair of slimy detectives who have been paid to
videotape the clandestine encounter. Then we go to the mobster who
hired them, his boss and the hit man's female partner.
Seeing the events played
out through different eyes as well as other events which earlier
characters had no way of experiencing allows the pieces of the crime
puzzle to come into place.
Eventually, though, the
structure of the film boxes itself in and we have to move forward beyond the
stopping point of noon because no matter how many angles you look at it
from, there is additional information that can only be exposed with time.
The new tough crime tales
have been playing with timelines since Tarantino's labyrinthine Pulp
Fiction came out almost fifteen years ago, and it is to screenwriter
Paul Osborne's credit that he is able to come up with a mostly unique story
As far as the characters
they are mostly hardened, decadent and deadly. Several characters
commit disturbing acts (and not just in the commission of the act the two
PIs particularly push the disturbing behavior envelope and yet don't
personally effect any of the events of the crime.) Even when someone
is selfless, no good deed goes unpunished.
This certainly not a
perfect movie, but it is an intriguing one. It piles on trick ending
after trick ending until your head is spinning a bit, and yet most of
it does make some sad sense. Ten 'til Noon
is lean, mean, dark, occasionally very sexy and in
the end rather tragic all of which are a recipe for a good crime
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Posted: August 25, 2007.