What does the number 23 mean to you? To some, it is just a number in a series of many.
It is much more than just a number to Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) in The Number 23. Walter seems to have a good life. He is happily married to Agatha (Virginia Madsen), has a son, Robin (Logan Lerman) and is somewhat satisfied with his job as a dog catcher. On his birthday, his wife stumbles upon a book entitled The Number 23, about a character named Fingerling (also played by Carrey) and his obsession with the number 23.
What seems like an innocent book soon takes over Walter’s life and leads him on a downward spiral and into a whirlwind of conspiracy. Not only does Walter believe he sees the number 23 everywhere, but he also begins to associate himself with Fingerling, believing that the book strangely resembles his own life. This leads Walter on a journey to find out the true meaning of the number 23.
Walter is a very likable character, and easily evokes sympathy from the audience as he struggles to discover the significance of the number while his life falls apart in the process. In a sense, Walter is haunted by the number 23 and needs to find some answers.
This psychological thriller leaves you guessing until the very end. The actors’ good performances are what make this movie enticing, especially Carrey, who adapts well to the dramatic role while still adding his hint of humor and wit.
Virginia Madsen also lights up the screen with her performance. She brings great emotion to her role as the caring and concerned wife. Even the young Lerman gives an amazingly realistic portrayal of the son. The actors not only make this movie appealing, but also help in making this an entertaining film.
The visual effects also make this movie engaging. Most of these effects take place when parts of the book are acted out. They help bring the movie to life and make it an enjoyable experience. Also, the film’s intriguing plot keeps the audience’s attention, making viewers eager to see how the story unfolds.
While the visuals and acting are good, the narration can be a bit too much. Throughout the movie, Walter is reading the book aloud. The audience hears the entire book, which seems to make the movie drag on at times. The acting out of the book also tends to make the progress of the movie seem slower at times.
The shift between the book and the actual movie can also be a bit clumsy sometimes, taking away from its flow. The narration can be annoying at times but it’s bearable. Perhaps the movie needs to be boring for the audience to understand the film’s ending.
The Number 23 is a great film to watch if you enjoy suspenseful thrillers. For the most part, the movie is enjoyable and if you can tolerate the narration, then the movie will be that much better.
This movie is not a “must see” but it is interesting to watch if you have the money to spare. After watching the movie, you may even be asking yourself if the number 23 is just a number to you.