“The Ghost Writer”


The Ghost Writer

Title of the movie: The Ghost Writer


Distributed in Indonesia by Prime Movie Entertainment

No SLS: 760/ VCD/D/PA/7.2012/2010, 23 August 2010



The Ghost Writer, as I have watched and understood about this movie, is mainly presenting the case of political relationship between the CIA and Adam Lang. Since the beginning until the end of the movie, there are three main characters presented. They are Adam Lang himself, the ghost writer, and Ruth Calles. The rest of the characters are dominantly influencing the story of the movie but they do not show up in every moments in the movie. In short, this movie presents the case of Adam Lang’s Memoirs, the death of McAra, and the relationship between these two things. 

Adam Lang’s Memoirs

In this movie, Adam Lang’s memoirs is practically a manuscript of a book. It is simply said as a manuscript because it needs further analysis in terms of content, organization of ideas and mechanics of text production. The person who will do these jobs is called as the ghost writer. At the beginning of the movie, the ghost writer, whose real name is never spoken in every dialogue in the movie, is Mike McAra. He is the previous ghost writer who is invited to work in Adam Lang’s foundation in an isolated island. Then, Rinehart Inc. hire a new ghost writer to do the same thing as what Mike McAra did. He is hired because Mike has been found dead in a shore of the island.

The new ghost writer talked and had a small conversation to Adam Lang and wrote a memoir of Adam Lang based on what Adam Lang said. As the story goes into a stage where the new ghost writer found a piece of secret information in a cupboard, he then tries to search for an information by contacting Richard Rycard. When the new ghost writer (or later called as TNGW), discussed what he found with Adam Lang. Unfortunately, what he got from him is a feeling of obscurity. Adam seems to be in a distrust mode and he sees that everything made to be funny. In this stage, that is in the middle of the story, the viewers will be able to know that Adam Lang did not know any political matters, except after he met Ruth Calles, his wife. Everything turns to be in a different condition since then. A question that occurred in my mind was about the death of McAra. Why he was dead? Why people hide something about him? And, what is the relationship between TNGW, Professor Paul Elmett, Ruth Calles, and Mike McAra?    

The Death of Mike McAra

As it is presented, the movie shows a ferry as a starting image at the beginning. Suddenly, there is a car left in the parking area in it. When I watched this stage, what makes me wondering is why a car left unknown? Then, after I followed what TNGW did, I finally realized that the dead man whose body was left in pain in a shore was Mike McAra. He did the same thing as TNGW did. But, the main different between TNGW and Mike McAra was that Mike was finally murdered before the story of the memoir was ended, while TNGW was able to escape himself from the people who would capture and kill him to be thrown away from the ferry.  

An interesting thing about Mike McAra is that this character is not physically presented well, but, the story of the movie presents Mike McAra as a key figure to know what was wrong with the memoir of Adam Lang. It can also be interpreted that Mike McAra is the key to know what the interesting thing in the manuscript is. Adam Lang and Mike McAra is so close but, since their debate, Mike McAra went to a house of an oldman living in a shore who had seen a women pointing a light into Mike’s dead body.

After investigating, asking here and there, and following his instinct, TNGW suddenly found a clue to Mike McAra’s death. The key is in Professor Paul Emmet. When he went to Emmet’s house, he did not get anything, except a very short answer, “I wouldn’s answer that because it is none of my concern”. TNGW found that there was a car following him after he got out from Emmet’s house. Luckily, he could escape himself from the spy-car, but, when he was in the ferry, to go to a destination, he saw the same car and two suspicious men following him. Knowing his life was in danger, he ran away until he could safe himself by staying in a motel. Here, he met Richard Rycard. Too bad, Richard recorded all their conversation so that TNGW was put in the corner.

Relationship between Adam Lang’s Memoirs and the Death of McAra

In the stage where TNGW could safe himself from the spies, the wife of Adam Lang whose name is Ruth Calles, is seen as a victim at first. She is a kind of women who could act for everything as if her life is only for Adam Lang. What makes me surprised is Ruth herself. Despite her wild action to ‘control’ TNGW, it seems that her attitude seems to be ridiculous, especially when she accidentally ‘sleeps’ with TNGW. Soon after Adam Lang’s death, Amelia Bly, Adam Lang’s personal secretary, goes together to a ceremonial event of publishing the book of Adam Lang’s memoir. In that event, TNGW heard what Amelia said, it is “the beginning, and the beginning, that’s what I’ve heard”.  TNGW rechecked the manuscript and finally, he could make a clear secret that has been covered for years. It is “Lang’s wife Ruth was recruited as a CIA agent by Professor Paul Emmet”.

Then, what does this movie tell about? And, what can we learn from this movie?


Now, it’s time for you to watch it by yourself since we might have different perception, don’t we? Happy watching! ^_^

Author: Syayid

Syayid Sandi Sukandi is a person who is just like you. He loves to meet new people. He likes to learn new things and opens his horizon to understand how this world works. He is happy to help you when he can. His personal blog is Sparkling Silent Silhouette (https://www.syayidss.com/). He can be contacted at e-mails: syayid@gmail.com or said_sandi@hotmail.com. He has a YouTube channel @Mr.Syayid's Corner. He is active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You may follow and subscribe to his creativity and works there. Enjoy different perspective and insightful ideas!

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