What You Wish For

What You Wish For
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The spoiler question remains a very important one for cinematic talk. Now it’s bugging this reviewer more than usual. “What You Wish For,” is a Nicholas Tomnay written and directed film starring Nick Stahl, which is one I pretty much came into cold, and that was part of what made the thriller move into horror (is that a spoiler already?).

Hence, I simply want to recommend the film anchored by Stahl’s consistently understated performance. His character Ryan here, who’s only in his mid-40s, appears like he has had quite a ride through perhaps more than one dissolute lifetime. It is as if nicotine and alcohol have moulded his facial features. He looks at his phone after getting off an airplane that just dropped him off in some unnamed South or Central American country, silently agonizes over Rabbit’s text message with pain on his face then waves ten dollars towards some natives hoping for transport into a rainforest. He wants to vanish right away. To his surprise, he finds himself being driven up into the mountains by a taxi driver who was seemingly waiting for him somewhere below. As it turned out he was expected indeed.All of this leads him to Jack (Brian Groh), who’s living in a beautiful house and invites Ryan over for some visiting time together with other buddies.What you wish For It happens that both Ryan and Jack are high-class chefs; while Jack gets hired as an exclusive private dining chef by someone like Imogene (Tamsin Topolski) and other particular customers; Ryan goes on the lam from gambler types such as Rabbit until they eventually begin threatening Ryan’s mother.

Indeed, this makes things difficult for me to explain at all because there are no spoilers here yet so far regarding what happened next about how Ryan got to know all these; now if you want to find out what happened next… well it isn’t hard really; my friend did tell me about it during lunch. The thing is, he was kidding. At least, the revelation may be considered funny by some people.

However, this movie succeeds at making you realize that without having to go beyond reason in that way. The title of the movie, “What You Wish For,” based on a familiar saying suggests a take on the “Talented Mr. Ripley.” Ryan mistakenly admires Jack’s situation before realizing that its root is something much more sinister than a rich boy’s inheritance.All of a sudden, once he figures it out there is no fear left in him; he becomes desperate and even worse just stops fighting.

This has always been Stahl’s strength as an actor; his shaky emotional state barely shows on his often hostile face like when Ryan tries to establish dominance towards these clients who for instance are led by Imogene (Tamsin Topolski) but whose expectations remain ambiguous.

Once again, without really revealing too much about the film, this is what I have chosen for it. Most of the movie carries a suspense that reminds one of the part in Hitchcock’s “Psycho” where Norman Bates is disposing Marion Crane’s car containing her dead body in a swamp located behind Bates Motel. It keeps sinking at an even pace before it stops causing us to hold our breath. What makes us gasp? We should not be on Norman’s side here, but we are. This is true of Stahl’s Ryan as well. Who, according to the movie anyway, is quite good at cooking.

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