Do you mean when...
Apologies if you've indicated exactly what you mean up the thread--this one seems to have stretched two or three dozen pages.
Yeah, that's what I was referring to. Felt like a rushed effort to get to a downbeat ending.
Ah, okay. Apparently, the film was originally slated to end with Ghost disappearing into the crowd at the party. The bit in the street at the end (I'm being vague out of laziness to spoiler code) was added when Polanski and Harris felt the ending was too upbeat.
It didn't destroy the film for me--it's the technical problems that bring it down.
I thought the ending was perfect. I may be partial to the way it was shot more than anything -- the way Polanski frames the last shot and then when the pages of the memoirs flutter past the screen is such a striking image that it really leaves you with an excitable impression when the title comes up.
I never really thought about the common sense of the Ghost character until now... the decision to show the revelation to Olivia Williams' character could be seen as stupid, but I believe as someone mentioned that it was fantastically well-shot and I agree. So I'm a little more forgiving because the ending was so neatly wrapped on such a visual and story level. Also, to be fair, I'm sure the Ghost didn't think it would catch up to him that fast
-- his sense of confused urgency in that last shot leads me to believe that he was immediately planning on exposing Olivia Williams' character.
On a side note, it was refreshing to see a thriller that was not done in the shaky cam vein of the Bourne
films. I love those films, but The Ghost Writer
was just a classical thriller in the Alfred Hitchcock vein and you really don't get that vibe in a lot of contemporary thrillers anymore. Filmmakers like Paul Greengrass think you need to have an ADD sense of editing and story propulsion in order to achieve suspense and Polanski wonderfully proves all you need to tell a suspenseful story is a combination of sharp writing, elegant editing and good pacing, all of which The Ghost Writer
had and in spades.