Friday, October 28, 2011

Colleenie Ghoulie Week 4 - Dead Ringers

Welcome to the last installment of this year’s Colleenie Ghoulie. I’m sad to say that I tried to save the best for last, but it didn’t work out that way.

The last film for October is the 1988 David Cronenberg thriller, Dead Ringers. I remember renting this movie in 1989 and it totally creeped me out and I haven’t watched it since.

I have to say, watching it 22 years later, I can’t believe I stayed with this really slow, boring film.

To be fair, maybe I need to remember that things just weren’t as in your face as they are now. Still, a good film should stand the test of time.

This was a tour de force performance by Jeremy Irons playing gynecologists twin brothers, Elliott and Beverly Mantle. From a young age, these twins are different and never fit in. As adults Elliott becomes the extrovert socialite but Beverly always remains awkward and withdrawn. The brothers constantly cover for each. Elliott helps Beverly by stepping in as him in social settings and even giving him his female castoffs. Beverly repays his brother by doing the bulk of their medical research which has made them famous. They are the “go to” doctors for infertile women, which brings the actress Claire (Genevieve Bujold) to them. She hopes they are the ones who can finally help her have a child.

Of course this is where the problems begin for the brothers and unfortunately, for the movie. Claire’s infertility really seems to be discarded when it no longer serves the plot and her entire character is so convoluted that it’s difficult to have any emotions for her.

Jeremy Irons does a fine acting job, but also his twins are so socially polarizing, it’s hard to feel for them. As for what I found so disturbing, maybe the abnormal examination tools Beverly has hand crafted for him? I also thought something really big happened, but now, I couldn’t tell you what that is.

The whole film felt like it was leading up to something, but I didn’t feel a payoff. I’m sorry I can’t recommend this one. Have you seen it? Am I missing something? Please feel free to sound off in the comments.

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