Ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) finds himself head hunted to ghost writer the memoir of Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), the former British Prime Minister who has the shadow of suspicion over him after his predecessor is found dead, reportedly having committed suicide. Taken to the island off of the Massachusetts coast where Lang and his staff have bunkered down ever since accusations arose over his part in the allowing the torture of Iraqis, it soon becomes apparent that his staff lead by Amelia Bly (Kim Cattrall) are extremely paranoid about security and privacy. But as the Ghost writer can't curb his enthusiasm to probe he finds a mass web of lies involving various governments, agencies and even Lang's own wife, Ruth (Olivia Williams).
Whilst up until now I have only reviewed 2 movies by Roman Polanski I have watched others but have found them hard going due to Polanski's style or because of the actual story. Thankfully that is not a problem with "The Ghost" or "The Ghost Writer" as it is also known as this is one of Polanski's most accessible movies which pretty much anyone can watch and get in to without having to have an appreciating for cinematography or anything else. To put it simply "The Ghost" is a typical political thriller with intrigue, secrets and so on but with a style which doesn't try to grab your attention from the central mystery.
But of course as a reviewer that leaves me with an issue because when the focus of a movie is the mystery of an unfolding storyline divulging anything is really giving the game away. But what I can say is that we have The Ghost, the unnamed character played by Ewan McGregor finding himself almost a prisoner in the secure compound that Lang has taken to living in which makes it hard for him to do too much sleuthing when he first discovers a secret and then finds himself spending time with Lang's wife who has a bitterness about her when it comes to her husband and his secretary. Yes I know this all vague but it is a movie where the pieces slowly fit to show things you initially didn't expect before revealing the bigger picture.
Now this sort of movie lives or dies on the acting and all have been well cast. Ewan McGregor gives us innocent but troubled as are lead whilst around him you have Pierce Brosnan giving us confidence and ego whilst Olivia Williams brings bitter and troubled to her part. But again I find myself forced to be vague as to elaborate too much on the characters and how they interact will also spoil things.
What this all boils down to is that "The Ghost" is an entertaining thriller which is easy to follow and unspoilt by the vision of a director who tries to over cook things. To put it simply if you enjoy thrillers with a commercial appeal then "The Ghost" should appeal.