-- German Proverb
Where the movie comes through is the casting. Depp is the big name, but has to be, given the heavy lifting the script asks him to do. Everyone else is cast with the ideal of being a forgettable face. There are no impossibly devious masterminds, just a doughy Frank Langella's Boris Balkan after the book; no 10/10 seductress, just Lena Olin as an attractive, but a little weathered widow preying on Corso's depravity; no gorgeous love interest, just Emmanuelle Seigner as girl who knows more than she's letting on, and is pretty in a sort of harsh way. What all this average Joe casting does is pull you into the story even more. If there were an impossibly attractive, fit shadow society running around the film, it'd be tough to suspend disbelief. The fact that all of these people besides Depp look like someone you could run into at the mall serves the movie well. It's easier for it to build suspense when these feel like real people crossing paths with Corso.