Home > Free Essays > Art > Comedy > Critique of film by Tony Gilroy

Critique of film by Tony Gilroy Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Jan 29th, 2019

Movie has been used for years as a way through which people depict issues that happen in the society. On the same note, movie can be used as an entertainment aspect when people want to relax. Nevertheless, while some other movies are well cast and plotted, there are others which do not meet the best criteria.

Academically, studying film is very interesting given the opportunity it provides for the students to understand some crucial aspects of film. The movie duplicity directed by Tony Gilroy is an American feature film that was produced in 2009. It is a very entertaining movie on crime, love and comedy mixed together. It is, however, crucial to evaluate various aspects of the movie to come up with a fair judgment.

The story of the movie is about two spies who were working for the government but have had to resign in order to take well paying jobs in the private sector. The two met some years back but the events that unfolded during their meeting were not very encouraging. Nevertheless, the two spies find themselves working together in the cosmetic industry (Fox, Bickford & Gilroy, 2009). Their love story is spiced up by the fact that they both have a common agenda to fulfill.

In the corporate sector where the two spies find themselves working, there is a war of survival. Two giant cosmetics manufacturers aim at suffocating the each other in order to increase profit margins. As a result, the two firms are at the neck of each other to know which technology is being introduced.

The firms have even gone to the extent of hiring undercover detectives so as to get information about their opponents as and when it comes up. When the two agents met, nobody knew the other well and ray ended up being drugged by Claire and his crucial documents stolen (Fox et al., 2009). As the story unfolds it becomes clear that there is no trust between the two though they seem to be in love.

The story is able to maintain a sense of suspense throughout which makes it interesting and captivating at the same time. Moreover, the writers incorporate flashbacks in explaining past events thus making the story somewhat easy to follow. On the same note, the comedy that is incorporated is crucial as it helps in maintaining the attention of the audience (Elsasser & Buckland, 2002). The element of dilemma is also appetizing as it ensures that the curiosity of the audience remains high.

It is, however, worth noting that the flashbacks used in the movie are very many and the confusion that is created by these overrides the main intention of clearing the confusion. Additionally, the plot of the movie is complex and understanding it needs high degree of concentration (Elsasser & Buckland, 2002). It is also notable that the movie is a bit too long for the ordinary audience.

As far as acting is concerned, it is better to say that Duplicity has what it takes. It makes use of seasoned actors who know how to use their techniques to keep the audience on their toes. In this regard, it is worth noting that besides the actor in the movie being talented, they are able to create good character throughout the movie.

Roberts does not fail to bring up her radiant smiles and personality which help in adding glamour to the movie (Fox et al., 2009). On the same note, Owen brings out his best talent and shows charisma and charm that is able to keep all the audience craving for more.

As far as allocation of roles is concerned, the movie has done a great job. Women have been awarded to masculine roles that are usually preserved for men. This is quite crucial in depicting how the society has improved (Elsasser & Buckland, 2002). The movie has succeeded in incorporating women actors into action movies while eliminating the idea that women and masculinity are at logger heads.

However, the movie does not depict Roberts as people know her. While she is known as an easily lovable lady who is out going, the movie shows her as a calculative lady who is cautious of every step she takes. She is also depicted as a lady who does not trust anything in her life including the money she loves (Fox et al., 2009). The CEO’s are also quite conversant with their roles. In a nutshell, the acting of the movie is splendid.

The movie exhibits a super understanding of the spy genre by the director Tony Gilroy. Having written various movies on the same theme, Gilroy seems to have mastered the rules of the game. The way the movie starts is very influential in depicting that even the best spies are human beings and can make mistakes (Fox et al., 2009).

This is shown when Ray goes with Claire to have fun only to wake up in the morning and find his documents taken. This shows that each person has some weaknesses and spies are not an exception. The story is made more interesting by the inclusion of romance thus making it more captivating.

The style in which the roles are given also depicts mastery of the film making industry. Notably, the director is able to assign various vigorous roles to women

At the same time maintaining societal expectations. Gilroy has been able to differentiate the idea of threatened masculinity and revolution of roles of women in the society. Telling of the story could not be fun without inclusion of comical scenes in the movie (Elsasser & Buckland, 2002).

As a result, comedy gives the movie a light touch making it compelling to watch. However, the comedy is not convincing enough to swirl the audience out of the idea that all the actors are ruthless money minded people. Moreover, the use of suspense is fundamental in maintaining the urge to watch. The director unfolds events against the expectations of many people when it turns out that the two experienced spies have all along been deceived regarding the existence of a new formula.

The short scenes used are also critical in enhancing the understanding of the movie. Nonetheless, the small scenes that are used by the director are not that advantageous. For many people, the short scenes only serve to break the flow of the story every so often thus creating confusion making the theme of the movie hard to comprehend (Elsasser & Buckland, 2002). It should, however, be noted that the director shows his mastery of the art of film making when he peaces everything up together to make a single final episode.

Regarding the cinematography of the movie, the producers have done a great job. The two spies have been perfectly clothed. The clothes that Roberts wear depict her not as an ordinary lady but as an intelligent spy. She is given a picture of a calculative lady who thinks twice before doing anything.

She is very clear on what she wants and the hairstyle compliments this. While spies are taken to be seductive and attractive, Roberts is portrayed as an ice cold person. The long standing rivalry between the two cosmetic manufacturing is the course of all the tricks in the movie. This is concisely exhibited by the slow motion on the tarmac when the two CEOs are approaching each other (Fox et al., 2009). Slow motion helps in showing the reluctance of the two CEOs to meet each other.

On the same note, the CEOs are splendidly dressed as serious people and very influential in the corporate society. Their difference is again depicted by their differing characteristics. One CEO is depicted as a dark and quiet person while the other is a forceful person who wants everything in his way. Nonetheless, these characters depict one thing in common, cunningness, and this is what the two CEOs share.

The interchange between dark and bright lights is helpful in complimenting rivalry and friendly scenes (Fox et al., 2009). Furthermore, the use of vast rooms and shots from different parts of the world help in enhancing the idea that the two spies have travelled all over the world. This is crucial in making the audience know that they have the required experience for their job. The split screen technology is also perfectly used in the movie.

The movie is able to mix different styles in telling its story. The story is mainly about crime in the corporate sector where each player in the industry seeks for means and ways of eliminating the opponent. Hiring of spies to work in a rival firm helps in depicting that CEOs in the corporate sector will stop at nothing in their quest to be market leaders.

The genre is well explained by mixing crime within crime complimenting the story (Elsasser & Buckland, 2002). While the firms expect that their spies will give them the information they require without any foul play, the spies have arranged how to get money by stealing what they have been hired to get.

Trust is never present in crime since everybody fears the other person. This is well depicted in the movie when Roberts and Owen are unable to trust each other despite the fact that they are in love (Fox et al., 2009). Moreover, the firms that have hired the spies do not even trust them and they have to get other people for the same job. Everybody is in the race to get an upper hand and nothing will deter each person from scheming against the other not even love.

There is good mixing of sound and acting in the movie. The jazz music is used with its pop sound. The sound is well timed to give room for the audience to clearly get the conversations that prevail between different actors. Nevertheless, there are other scenes where the background music is too loud for the audience to get some dialogues.

An example is when the two CEOs come face to face and stare yelling at each other and the sound blows up leaving the audience wondering what happened (Fox et al., 2009). Nonetheless, sound mixing in various scenes is perfect as it goes with the theme of the movie. Low sounds where the atmosphere is calm and loud sound where probability of quarrels is high.

Our society has been marred with capitalism tendencies where everybody seeks for ways to increase his or her paycheck. The corporate world is arguably the most affected area. Each firm is out to maximize its profits and one way of attaining this is by eliminating the competitors. That is the reality of life in the contemporary society. This reality seems to have inspired the production of the movie (Elsasser & Buckland, 2002). The director wants to bring to the public the things that happen under the carpet in the corporate world.

Violence rarely takes place in the competition among corporate and this has not been included in the movie. Though the movie elicits a tense atmosphere from the beginning to the end, violence is not part of the scenes. Society has also come to an age where people are egocentric and all they think of is money and themselves. This seems to inspire the movie when each actor pretends to act for the benefit of their respective corporate when in reality they are out to satisfy their own needs.

On the other hand, the movie has a positive impact to society. As depicted from the movie’s final scene, there was no formula after all though everybody was aiming to cash on the same. The spies have been deceived by the firms. They were just wasting their energy. It could have been very helpful if they had been genuine with their job. This tells people in the society that they can also fall prey of the corporate wars so they should take care of their moves.

Moreover, the movie is set in the cosmetics industry where people do not expect much rivalry. It is the expectation of many people that the kind of the tension exhibited by the two firms in the movie would occur in information technology sector or intelligence sector. However, the movie shows that tension can occur in any sector (Fox et al., 2009). This influences society to be careful as anything is possible in the corporate sector. Moreover, this shows that crossing and double crossing is the order of the day in the society.

The movie is restricted to people under than thirteen years because of the violence and language. However, language is of more concern because there is no actual violence in the movie. The Movie editors have done a great job. There is no overlapping scenes or shots out of context.

Moreover, there is clarity of sound in every scene coupled with timely events (Elsasser & Buckland, 2002). Volume of background music is cleverly reduced and increased to allow the audience to easily follow the dialogues that ensue as the movie unfolds. The flashbacks are also well placed and the transition from one scene to the other is very subtle (Fox et al., 2009).

The movie is very entertaining to watch. It captures both the adults and the youth alike given that besides being involving, it is also thrilling. Other than the plot of the movie being complex to understand, the movie is captivating keeping the audience glued to the screen to the very last minute.

Nevertheless, traditional spy movies were meant to deliver a moral uneasiness which is lacking in this movie. On the same note, the movie is unable to bring out the emotional aspect in its climax which would have given it a pleasant ending. Nevertheless, the movie is able to sustain the interest of the audience to the end.


Elsasser, T. & Buckland, W. (2002). Studying Contemporary American Movies: A Guide to Movie Analysis. London: Arnold.

Fox, J., Bickford, L. (Producers), & Gilroy, T. (Director). (2009). Duplicity Movie [Motion picture]. United States: Universal Pictures.

This essay on Critique of film by Tony Gilroy was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2019, January 29). Critique of film by Tony Gilroy. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critique-of-film-by-tony-gilroy/


IvyPanda. (2019, January 29). Critique of film by Tony Gilroy. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/critique-of-film-by-tony-gilroy/

Work Cited

"Critique of film by Tony Gilroy." IvyPanda, 29 Jan. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/critique-of-film-by-tony-gilroy/.

1. IvyPanda. "Critique of film by Tony Gilroy." January 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critique-of-film-by-tony-gilroy/.


IvyPanda. "Critique of film by Tony Gilroy." January 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critique-of-film-by-tony-gilroy/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Critique of film by Tony Gilroy." January 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critique-of-film-by-tony-gilroy/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Critique of film by Tony Gilroy'. 29 January.

Powered by CiteTotal, paper citation generator
More related papers