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TV & Video Review: ‘Chloe’ (DVD)

Chloe is sexy, mysterious and thrilling; but the conclusion is a disappointment.

When Catherine (Julianne Moore), a successful doctor, begins to question her husband David’s (Liam Neeson) fidelity, she sets out to resolve her suspicions with the help of an alluring young woman, Chloe (Amanda Seyfried). Soon caught in a web of sexual desire, Catherine finds herself on a journey that places her family in great danger.

Both Moore and Seyfried take a lot of chances as actresses, becoming very exposed emotionally and physically. While Moore has had a career of multi-layered parts, Seyfried took a risk in this role and succeeded by embracing it completely. Though the nudity is an integral part to her character, she pushes the limits of seduction and stalking with her chameleon-like behaviour. The character aptly describes it when she says she disappears into your fantasy; Seyfried effectually does this on the screen.

The story of a love triangle gone badly is not new, but this film veers from the standard structure opting for a couple of twists in the plot. While Chloe’s interest in her “business transaction” with Catherine becomes clearer, her tactics are far less so. It’s uncertain whether Catherine and David needed a son (Max Thieriot) for the story to work, but he does add another dynamic to the tale. In addition, the only two characters to really receive full treatment are Catherine and Chloe, which works very well for the narrative as they are the key players and the men in their lives are motivations or tools. On the other hand, the ending feels like a cop-out, choosing the simple solution to the problem.

Director Atom Egoyan has made various films dealing with intense emotional relationships and situations. Chloe will rank among the better of these films. His ability to shoot the intimacy of a scene so that it’s not really voyeuristic, but still powerful is excellent; it works as Catherine and Chloe share affecting moments, as well as when Catherine and her husband do so.

The suspense and mystery unfolds slowly, but the intensity sustains the film as does the captivating performances.

Special features include: commentary by Egoyan, Seyfried and writer Erin Cressida Wilson; a making-of featurette; and deleted scenes.

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