Tony Gilroy

(Copyright © 2011 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

, /10

Tony Gilroy

Duplicity is a modest jigsaw puzzle of a spy thriller that simply shuffles the timeline to make it a bit more interesting than the romantic comedy it would have been.

The film opens with a metaphorical scene in which two executives in suit and tie, who just got off their respective private planes, fight a wrestling match on the tarpan of the airport. In Dubai a sexy Clare is approached by an aggressive and handsome Ray. She lets him take her to his room but then drugs him and steals secret documents. Five years later they meet in New York. She pretends not to recognize him, but he insists. Eventually she admits that she slept with him. They find out that he is her field officer, which shocks her. She is clearly still a spy, except that now she is into industrial espionage, and he is her contact. The operation is run by a guy named Duke from the empty floor of a high-rise building where he and his cohorts, including an older lady, have amassed all sorts of high-tech equipment. Their current customer is Dick, the CEO of a pharmaceutical company (one of the two executives seen wrestling on the tarpan). Dick is desperate to find out what groundbreaking product his rival CEO is about to announce. Clare is Duke's spy embedded in the rival CEO's company.
A flashback shows how Clare and Ray met again, accidentally, in Rome two years earlier. They uttered the exact same lines when they met in Rome (which means that in New York they were acting them, only pretending not to have met since Dubai). They fell in love, slept together and dreamed of making lots of money so they could quit their jobs.
Back to the present, Ray, who has just been hired by Duke, impresses his boss by seducing the woman in charge of travels at Clare's company. They obtain a wealth of information thanks to that scoop. Clare is called by her boss at the company to investigate the dangerous break in security and listens disturbed to the lonely travel department lady explain how she fell for Ray's lies.
Another flashback shows how Ray and Clare met in London six months after Rome and made further plans to find a way to live together, exscept that they did not trust each other.
Back to the present Duke's team finds out that the new mysterious product has been acquired from the startup of a kid who now lives a wealthy life in the Bahamas.
Another flashback shows Ray and Clare in Florida a few months earlier: Ray has a new plan to make money by spying and cheating on a company that makes frozen pizzas. She is unimpressed because she has just taken a job in New York working for Duke. That's the assignment she currently has: spying on behalf of Dick.
Back to the present Clare is interviewed by the rival CEO (the boss of her boss) about protecting the top-secret invention.
A final flashback shows Ray and Clare meeting when Clare found out that Duke needs to hire a field officer, and suggests that Ray applies for the job to become what will be her contact with Duke.
Back to the present Ray arranges a secret meeting at a bowling place between CEO Dick and spy Clare in which Clare tells them what the invention is: a product to grow hair, the cure for baldness. Now they need the formula, which is worth a fortune.
Clare is summoned urgently at the company: they found an employee who was trying to steal the formula. Clare is left in charge of the traitor and of the formula for a few minutes. She takes the formula and calls Ray. They frantically find a way to send the formula to Duke's office. Mission accomplished. Except that Clare turns on Ray: they find a copy of the formula on him. However, it's only for show. While Duke delivers the formula to Dick (presumably a false one), Ray and Clare sell the real formula to some Swiss customers of theirs. Dick calls a press conference to announce with grand fanfare that his company developed a cure for baldness. He will be embarrassed soon when his people find out that it's a fluke. Ray and Clare are not any luckier: their formula too turns out to be worth nothing. Back in New York the rival CEO is celebrating a successful counter-espionage operation led by the older woman who pretends to work for Duke: she engineered the whole story. Ray and Clare did not know that they were being spied all the time by the rival CEO's men.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )