One Hour Photo

 

This is a chilling tale starring the great comic Robin Williams in a movie that is anything but  funny!  Williams plays an employee of a one-hour photo shop at a big store similar to a Walmart.  He has held this job for 11 years.  He has no life but his work.  He has no friends, no wife or children, nothing but the job.  He becomes obsessively involved with one family that brings their photos in for processing over the years.  He watches the family’s one son grow up.  In his fantasies he is like the boy’s uncle.  Robin plays this character flat, emotionless.  He is a control freak and takes great pride in making sure that the automatic film-processing machine turns out the highest quality prints.  He also over the years makes extra copies of the photos this family brings in and takes the copies home.

 

At his dull apartment, one large wall is totally covered by hundreds of photos of this family.  It is “his” family.  The only one he emotionally can afford to have. 

 

Then he gets fired.  The store manager does not like his personality and he cannot account for hundreds of photos that the machine produced but were never paid for…the ones he has on his wall at home.  He has one week to clear out and be gone.

 

Then another person comes in to have her photos processed.  Williams thinks he recognizes her but she says no.  Then he realizes that she is in the background of one of the photos on his family wall.  When he processes her photos he sees that she is having an affair with the father of his adopted family.

 

He switches the photos so that the wife gets the girlfriends photos.  He scratches the father’s face out on every one of the photos on his wall and he goes after the father.  He tracks him down while in bed with the other woman and terrorizes both of them with a knife as he takes pictures of them engaged in sex.  The couple are emotionally shattered by the terror he inflicts upon them.  (And taught a lesson that will hopefully change their behavior and their lives for the better.  This does not justify his actions, but at the same time you can’t help but feel that people should protect the sanctity of the family, even if they have to take drastic action to do so.) 

 

The police arrest him.  In turns out in the interrogation that he was sexually molested by his father as a child and had his picture taken in sexual poses.  (The photos that he took of the couple nude, were not really taken at all.  He just made them think he was taking them.)

 

Messages: 

 

Child abuse can have a powerful negative emotional impact on you for your whole life. 

 

Those who are fortunate enough to have a relatively normal family life should count their blessings rather than have affairs.