The Two Lives of Lisa

Liam Neeson in The Other Man (2008)

Software CEO Peter (Liam Neeson) and his wife, shoe designer, Lisa (Laura Linney) have been married for 25 years and have a grown up daughter, Abigail (Romola Garai). But when Lisa goes Peter tries to clear the house of her stuff only to discover that she had been having an affair with a guy called Ralph believing it to be a work colleague he met at one of her fashion shows. But when it turns out to be another man who lives in Lake Como Peter heads out there with a plan of confronting the man only to find himself getting to know the man and how he felt about Lisa.

Let me say right away that "The Other Man" is one of those movies which intentionally doesn't feed everything to you on a plate and so at times you may think one thing has happened but then begin to suspect something else by the way people react. Take for example when Lisa goes your initial thought is one thing as she has travel bags packed but then as we see how people react to Peter following this you begin to think something else. It is one of the movie's positives, that is doesn't treat the audience like they can't think for themselves. But unfortunately there are a lot of reviews on the net which reveal all and rob you off trying to make sense of the movie for yourself.

Antonio Banderas in The Other Man (2008)

But "The Other Man" surprises you in other ways as of course this story which sees Peter obsessing over the discovery that his wife had been having an affair and then heading to Lake Como to confront this man leads you to think this will be a case of a husband putting the other man in his place. But then it does something different as Peter hears all about how Ralph 'Rafe' fell in love with Lisa. And so what we see through flashbacks is the two lives of Lisa as on one hand we have the romance in Italy from Rafe's point of view and then how things were playing out in Cambridge with Peter realising as he thinks back things were not as all right as he thought. It is certainly an interesting take on the whole affair movie with some intriguing twists along the way making it one of those movies that the less you know about the better it plays out.

What this does mean is that the majority of the movie is all about the flashbacks as Peter realises what was going on. But what we get is a lot of head to head with Liam Neeson and Antonio Banderas sitting across from each other in a cafe where they play chess with Rafe telling Peter all about the English woman he loves unaware he is talking about his wife. And both Neeson and Banderas play their parts well bringing anger and Latin lothario to their parts.

What this all boils down to is that "The Other Man" is probably not the movie you think it will be as it isn't just another simple movie about an affair. But it is a movie which to get the most out of watch with as little knowledge as you can as it then allows you to get the full benefit of the twists.

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