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Way Off Beat
on April 23, 2010
As you can see by the previous reviews, the opinions are greatly varied. They all have merit but I have to say I liked it more than I didn't like it.
As for the issue of multiple or fractured personalities, I don't have the expertise to say whether or not they exist, but it is the crux of this film so, depending on your views on the matter, you may need to suspend your disbelief.
Yes. You get, right off the bat, the strong connection to Psycho. Abused son plus dead mom equals crazy son. This son, played by Cillian Murphy will make or break this one for you. Susan Sarandon is present but she's doing what she can with a rather small part. Bill Pullman seems unnecessarily weird and Ellen Page does a very good job even though she's only in a couple of scenes. This is Murphy's movie. The way he plays the parts of John and Emma, I felt, were tremendous. He's screwed up and trapped in a self imposed prison. Through a trick of fate he almost finds a way out through his alter ego Emma. But you see the torment in him and you realize how precarious the situation is. One false move and the whole thing comes crashing down.
The writer/director Michael Lander ripped a couple of pages out of the David Lynch book of film making but as I tend to like Lynch, I wasn't at all bothered. It's a good idea for a movie and all aspects of the production are professional. The soundtrack is way cool and the bones don't show. This is a good, solid, imaginative film. It clocks in at 90 minutes so it won't tax your patience.
But beware. This is not for the casual viewer. If you're into popcorn kind a flix this may not be your cup of tea. If way off beat films are your poison, give it a shot.