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Film Review: One Way (2006)

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When Eddie Schneider (Til Schweiger) is faced with the pressure of being creative director at big money Birk Advertising Firm and keeping loyal to his fiancée, every piece of his life is fleshed out to reveal that his imperfect past can affect his impending position as CEO partner of the firm. His copywriter and best friend Angelina Sable (Lauren Lee Smith) also aides in his self discovery of what is truly important to him through all the lies and deceit that eventually turn his life completely around.


Directed by: Reto Salimbeni
Written by: Reto Salimbeni
Starring: Til Schweiger, Lauren Lee Smith, Sebastien Roberts, Stefanie Von Pfetten, Michael Clarke Duncan

Sexual intimacy is an overpowering need of self fulfillment that can control a person in ways that they commit acts of sin. such as infidelity and taking advantage of the unwilling through the heinous crime of rape. A person’s need to be sexually fulfilled can also lead to doing things that could hurt others close to us through lying, cheating, and murdering. In Reto Salimbeni’s One Way, sex destroys two individuals in ways that lessons are taught by deciding our own fates instead of waiting for karma to destroy the inflictor of pain. One Way not only takes on a rape revenge style theme, but mixes the effects of infidelity not only on a relationship but the people who are in the cheater’s life.

One Way begins with shots of a long river, and forests that five people are running through. The red-haired girl, who we find out to be Angelina Sable(Lauren Lee Smith), is being chased by five older guys. When she falls to the ground, she is pinned and raped by one of the young men. Her face changes from horror to relief when a black general (Michael Clarke Duncan) appears from nowhere. He immediately shoots every one of the attackers, and afterwards disappears as if he never existed. From that, we are taken to the present day where a silver Chrysler 300 is displayed rolling into an estate of millionaires.

The patrons of the car are Eddie Schneider (Til Schweiger) works for the father of his new fiancée, Judy Birk (Stefanie Von Pfetten.) After Judy’s father Russel Birk (Art Hindle) shows little reluctance to the marriage, he reveals it was a joke just to provoke Eddie to win the big money advertising account from TransUS Airlines. Immediately, the Birk’s are shown as a money hungry family, that will do anything to keep their business as powerful as possible. The stress for Eddie to succeed in the Birk Firm leads him to his cheating ways, and stops for a quick rendezvous with a mistress before his presentation.

After a successful presentation, Eddie takes his chief copywriter Angelina out to sushi and drinks. Angelina brags about how she is the only woman that Eddie has not had sexual encounters with, and congratulates Eddie about the news of him being engaged. She also inquires about Eddie’s promiscuity, in which he promises to end his ways. After the short dinner scene, Eddie and Angelina return to the office for celebration. When leaving after hours, Angelina realizes she left her keys in her office and leaves the protective side of Eddie.

When returning to retrieve her keys, she runs into Russel’s son Anthony (Sebastien Roberts.) He accuses of Angelina of having sexual relations with Eddie, and pins her on the ground and rapes her in his office. The rape scene is cruel, and happens not only vaginally but anally also. Eddie finds Angelina in distress the next morning, and takes her to the hospital to be tended to.

Initially, Eddie comes after Anthony for what he did to his best friend, but shies away when he finds out that Anthony is blackmailing him with pictures of Eddie cheating on Judy. This attributes to Eddie lying in court, and testifying against his own best friend. When Angelina sees that the only way to get her revenge is by paving her own destiny, she is able to teach a lesson to her rapist and her best friend that turned his back on her. Angelina’s strength of being a repeated rape victim motivates other rape victims to stand up for themselves, and not be a victim anymore than they already have. Eddie is also taught the lesson that money and sex can control a person so much that they should take a step back and learn what is important to them because life moves too quickly to see our mistakes right in front of us. Eddie eventually loses his best friend, fiancée, and his job due to his ways of infidelity and lying.

The production of One Way was entirely German, and was the first credited English speaking role for Til Schweiger. The thick accent that Schweiger had was sometimes hard to understand, and he seemed almost having problems showing emotion as much as he should. The rape scenes are very brutal, but all the actors are clothed so there is little nudity. There are also few violent scenes of men being shot by guns, and the blood and gore is very slim but effective. The soundtrack of the movie highlights many European bands, such as one I recognized, Placebo. The black general never really is developed, in which I questioned what his purpose was in the movie. I just saw him as an imaginary friend or possibly a spirit that motivates Angelina to live on through the pain she endured.

This powerful tale of life lessons through traumatic experiences is a must see for anyone that doesn’t realize that the effects of excessive sexual fulfillment can have on regular everyday life. Also, fate will always deal evildoers the cruel hand even if it is decided by the ones who were affected by the crime.

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