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20 May 1999 Edition

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Cinema: A simple plan gone awry

By Tara O'Liath

Based on Scott B. Smith's best-selling novel of the same title, A Simple Plan opens on May 21, directed by Sam Raimi, the man behind the underrated American Gothic television series.

What starts out as `A Simple Plan' becomes a series of complex and tragic consequences for those concerned, after two brothers and a friend uncover over four million dollars in the snow-encrusted wreck of a small plane. After the initial moral dilemma over whether or not to keep their find, they become embroiled in the fear of getting caught and go to extrordinary lengths to ensure they don't.

``What tangled webs we weave when we practice to deceive'' takes on new meaning as their efforts to escape suspicion take a downward spiral. What makes A Simple Plan engrossing is that there's no real bad guys, just average joe soaps that are easy to identify with - a prime example of what greed, desire for better things and fear can do to ordinary people.

This movie boasts a well-written script and a superb cast.

This thriller is given an extra something by the underlying moving story of the two brothers relationship and the lengths they'll go to to protect, not just their crimes, but each other.

A Simple Plan has plenty of drama and suspense, with splashes of irony and humour thrown in for good measure, making it better than your average thriller. It's worth watching just for Billy Bob Thornton's performance. It would be a shame to miss what's undoubtedly one of the best films to go on release so far this year.

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