Locked in a high-tech English manor, bound in a deadly duel of wits, Andrew Wyke and Milo Tindle come together as English gentlemen to discuss the matter of Wyke's wife: the woman both are sleeping with. But as wit becomes wicked and clever becomes cutthroat, Wyke and Tindle's game of one-upmanship spirals out of control, in an escalating chess match that can only lead to a deadly outcome.
Sleuth(2007) written by Pinter is a totally different film to those wanting to see a remake of Sleuth(1972). The set up is the same but Pinter brings a dark murderous homoerotic vain to the piece. Jude Law almost wants Caine to kill him so he can win the game. The set is amazing and reflects the clinical minimalism of both Pinter’s script and the psyche of Caine’s character. He is just waiting for someone like Law to come and lift him out of the boredom he has sunk into and when Law starts to run rings around him in the great game, Caine finds himself fascinated by Law and in turn wants to masochistically be owned by him. It is extraordinary to see Caine stretch himself as an actor to homosexual lust, and Law excels as he reveals himself to be a sociopath with Caine’s utter humiliation in mind.
Pinter’s version holds none of the farcical comedy of the original and knocks you off balance from the start. I did think that the pace was quite fast at the beginning and the opening dialogue between the characters somewhat swift to make it unbelievable but then I realised that Pinter, as well as the actors were going for something different and that the film only makes sense when you realise who has written it.
If you love Pinter then you will enjoy this film, if not, then don't watch it and enjoy the 1972 version with Olivier and Caine.