"Wicker Park" is a tale of obsession on many levels. It is told partly in flashback, so that you have to piece the events together and figure out how far back the action of the film began -- what is now and what was then. The director uses split-screen techniques that enhance the look and feel of the film, lifting it from the realm of the ordinary to the plane of art. A haunting theme weaves its way through this labyrinth of lies, leading to a satisfying (because inevitable) conclusion.
Wicker Park has to be one of the best Romance Dramas I?ve seen. It succeeds on a level. What I liked about it was that it wasn?t directed by an American director, we are seeing this through the perspective of Scottish director; Paul McGuigan, who recently used Hartnett in Lucky Number Slevin. For me he brings a whole different slant to the genre.
It was easy to tell what was flashback and what was here-and-now. But the story is complicated (not convoluted) and does require some sorting out. As for being cliched, I found the film quite the opposite. It could have gone in some trite, hackneyed directions but didn't. And while some people might think the ending is the cliché of all clichés, I thought that, emotionally, it was absolutely right and the only possible way to end the film
The film does indeed feature characters who possess unhealthy romantic obsessions, but these characters are not presented here as cartoonish psychopaths. Instead, they are presented as otherwise reasonable people compelled to do things that are less-than-reasonable, but understandable. Accordingly, the "action" here is not of the harpy-with-butcher-knife variety: "Wicker Park" builds excitement cumulatively, in the manner of a good mystery, as the complete picture coalesces through events revealed in a non-linear structure (reminiscent of several sequences from "The Rules of Attraction"). The acting appropriately lacks flashiness (with the exception of comic relief, Matthew Lillard), which grounds the film in a more believable reality. What was also brilliant was the intensity of the love we feel between Matthew and Lisa. the anguish they have felt the past two years from being unknowingly torn apart by a vindictive and crushed "friend" of Lisa's. These things said, one's enjoyment of "Wicker Park" may owe in great part to knowing to which genre this film belongs.
The camera-work is extremely well done, and, despite some comments by my friends on the site, the plot has no real holes. everything is revealed with perfect timing, and the songs absolutely heighten the emotion of each scene. the characters were eccentric and go to such great lengths for love. What I enjoyed was the fact. not only do we end up seeing that Alex has motive, we can almost relate to her....although we do not agree with her actions, she becomes more vulnerable and human to the audience.
Probably one of the most memorable scenes for me is the end scene. Some people might argue that it seems cliché?s and predictable but it just seems real. That emotion felt with the Coldplay song just makes you feel for these characters and really shed a tear-I most certainly did.
Overall, in my opinion Wicker Park has to be one of the most underated films of this decade. It is most certainly a recommendable film which I wish everybody would watch and see it for it?s beautiful score and direction. Ignore the comments on this site!