Sam Raimi Sobers Up
Sam Raimi's "A Simple Plan" may surprise fans of his grossly funny "Evil Dead" trilogy. The new thriller, based on Scott B. Smith's novel, shows little trace of the hyperactive camera work that made Raimi famous. Instead, the director worked to put his technique at the service of the story.
"The movie camera is the ultimate tool of the storyteller," says Raimi.
He has a compelling tale to tell. "A Simple Plan" is the story of two brothers (Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton) and their friend (Brent Briscoe) who discover a wrecked airplane with $4 million inside. They devise "a simple plan": Lay low for a while to see if anyone comes looking for the money; if no one does, split up the loot and leave town. Naturally enough, the scheme goes horrifically awry.
"The actors and the story are the stars of the film -- as opposed to fancy camera shots or visual and sound effects," Raimi says. "My goal was to stay invisible instead of putting on a show." He admits: "It was really a different job for me"
"The toughest thing for me was making sure everything we were portraying seemed real -- that it didn't seem like a movie," he continues. "I kept on asking myself, 'What would a real reaction be?' "
How does he feel about the movie, now that it's done? "I know what construction workers must feel like when they complete a building," says Raimi. "I think we did a good job. I hope it keeps the water out and that we sealed all the cracks."
-- Sean Doorly
(Written for Premiere Magazine Online)