On iPlayer: The Other Man

When his wife dies, Peter (Liam Neeson), a wealthy executive, discovers she was having an affair and decides to hunt down her lover.

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Liam Neeson is without a doubt an expert at hunting people down, so it’s a fool who sleeps with his wife. But this is more like Gone Girl than Taken, with a plot revolving around revelations about the deceased woman, as the husband comes to discover there was more to her than he previously knew.

Peter tracks down the mysterious lover to Milan where he engages him in conversation over chess in a bid to get to the truth. These are some of the best scenes, where we see that two people can feel they know someone intimately yet have totally different perceptions of them.

The best thing about this film is its striking cinematography, with the long shadows and darkness contributing to the sense of unease. There are also some good performances, particularly from Romola Garai as daughter Abigail, even if Neeson does occasionally border on the comical.

With a minuscule 84 minute running time, including scenes we see a second time in flashback, it’s not particularly substantial – and it stretches the disbelief of the viewer to its very limits as the behaviour of Neeson’s character becomes hard to accept. This sits uneasily with the film’s solemn tone, that suggests it wants to be more a serious drama than an unpredictable thriller.

At its best it manages some good characterisation and is emotionally compelling – but whether this outweighs its general silliness will be a matter of taste.

The Other Man is on iPlayer until 29 March.

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