Depp’s performance is outstanding, his mannerisms and tired detached internal struggles are delicious. In an interview (of unknown source) I once heard Depp mention that he has always been drawn to play downbeat detached characters as they offer a richer pallet of emotions and challenges, indeed my two favourite Jonny Depp films both feature troubled writers (the second one being The Ninth Gate by Roman Polanski).
We sometimes associate a movie with particular events or times in our lives, I often do. For me Secret Window is synonymous with my time, and indeed life-style, as a university student. The sleepless nights, the burdens of writing, the detached confused introversion portrayed by the lead character were elements I could relate to as a student.
This movie is all about character, its based on a Stephen King novella called Secret Window, Secret Garden by Stephen King. The movie offers clear motivations, rich character development, what long seclusion could do to the creative mind of a tormented writer, and has well defined paranoid thriller elements. From the very first scene we a greeted with a tight shot of Mort sitting in his car rooted by indecision. The camera work on this opening scene is wonderful and really established the theme for this film and introduces the audience from the start to Mort’s internal struggle.
What was I like before seeing this film? Was it just coincidence that Mort behaved like me, or was I inspired to essentially be Mort? Slowly I found myself becoming quite obsessed with the look and feel of this film. I developed a love of Palmal cigarettes, I styled my hair on Mort (which was easy to do), and I routinely fell asleep on the couch wrapped in a weathered night-gown with the lamp left on. Emotionally I was more invested in a movie called Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, but aesthetically this movie crafted my general appearance during 2005 and 2006.