Death and the Maiden

Director: Roman Polanski
Year Released: 1994
Rating: 2.5

By pure coincidence, a fragile woman with a messy past (Sigourney Weaver) comes into contact with a man (Ben Kingsley) whose voice and manner of speaking connect with that of the same man who raped and tortured her when she was very young - she's determined to get a confession out of him by any means possible, even going so far as to let her lawyer husband (Stuart Wilson) play 'neutral.' Weaver's performance is only average and Polanski is clearly tries over compensating for the inherent staginess - it's based on the play by Ariel Dorfman - though the idea of a female turning the table on both men - including her husband, who actually comes to Kingley's defense! - is gripping and allows for some nice ambiguities. That Kingley's character is permitted to live is a stunning conclusion: sometimes an apology is all you need.