1974, Alan Riply (Joseph Fiennes), a young idealistic 23 year old, works as a beach boy at an exclusive Miami resort. There he dreams of one day owning his own Hotel but resists the temptations and short cut to riches taken by his peers by dealing in drugs and working in the underworld. Alan meets the recently married Ella (Gretchen Mol), the young wife of middle-aged and ruthless New York businessman Mark Brice, with whom she is on vacation.
Alan falls deeply in love with Ella and against her instincts and knowing it's wrong to do so, she starts a passionate affair with him. Aware the liaison is doomed, Ella determines to finish it at the end of her trip but Alan will not be thwarted and follows her back to New York.
There, he continues to court her but when Ella loses her nerve and confesses all to Brice he becomes mad with rage and takes swift and vicious retribution. He frames Alan in a drugs raid and subsequently visits him in prison and on hearing Alan remaining defiant and still refusing to stay away from Ella, attempts to have him killed by other inmates during a routine prison transfer. Although, unknown to Brice that his action has failed, Alan is left permanently scarred, both physically and emotionally. He retreats to Florida to begin a healing process which will take years but never forgets his love for Ella nor forgives her husband. He also changes, literally, into a new man and after thirteen years certainly not the one recognisable as the young beach boy in Florida.
1987, in the intervening time Alan has become successful and formidable in his own right with his own dubious connections. At last he goes back to New York with a new identity, 'Manuel Esquema', to claim his lost love. He returns to find Brice has huge legal and political problems and not recognising Alan, is desperate for help. He has no idea that Alan has come back to gain revenge and reclaim the lost love of his life . . .
- Type of film
- Running Time
- 114 mins
- Paul Schrader
- Julia Palau, Matthew Payne
- Kristina Boden
- Paul Schrader
- Director of Photography
- John Bailey
- Angelo Badalamenti
- Principal Cast
- Joseph Fiennes, Ray Liotta, Gretchen Mol
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Last updated 26th November 2005