Refn created the thin plot in collaboration with "Last Exit to Brooklyn" author Hubert Selby Jr., who died in 2004. Possessing "Blow Up" ties, the story revolves around the seemingly pointless murder of the wife of Wisconsin mall security guard Harry Cain, played by Turturro. In his effort to find the whys and wherefores of what happened, Cain has to deal with grief, paranoia, and his own doubts about his motives. His emotional and moral dilemmas, combined with clues obtained from obsessive freeze-frames and computer-enhanced video and photo images, lead him to Montana and another troubled man who practices a different form of security.
The movie is all about not understanding the big picture and not knowing how to deal with its complexity even at the moments when you think you do. Visually, the movie has a striking surety -- scenes in the snow are particularly evocative -- and the music by Brian Eno and J. Peter Schwalm is an apt fit. Intellectually, the story isn't as compelling Kafkaesque at it probably wants to be, but at least it has a mind of its own. Starring John Turturro, Deborah Kara Unger and James Remar. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Written by Nicolas Winding Refn and Hubert Selby Jr. Produced by Henrik Danstrup. A Silver Nitrate release. Drama. Rated PG-13 for intense thematic material. Running time: 91 min