This comes out at a time when people went through a lot of trouble, and sometimes embarrassment, just to get their photos developed. The switch to digital was imminent. They had to put their trust in a professional’s hands. That professional is one of Robin William’s darkest characters. Like traditional photography, the man is becoming irrelevant, obsolete, useless; a thing of the past.
Everything revolves around Williams, which is unusual because he’s the antagonist. He’s a creep. He’s obsessed with one of his clients. He reads the same book she’s reading. He “accidentally” bumps into her husband, then her kid. The neon lightness of WalMart’s likeness mixed with William’s darkness becomes a signature. No matter how sinister the film gets, the scenes are brightly lit.
Eventually, the stalker gets caught and fired. At that point, One Hour Photo pulls all the stops and becomes a legendary thriller. Williams turns into an uncontrollable maniac. Will One Hour Photo stand the test of time? More or less. It becomes self-aware. If you’re this man, stop whatever you’re doing and rethink your life. If you know this man, run for your life.