Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Cell [2000]

Director: Tarsem Singh
Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vince Vaughn, Dylan Baker
Genre: Thriller/Science fiction
Rating: Adult (graphic violence, horrifying images, nudity)
Comment: "Every bit as intriguing as Inception [2010], although there's a need for a strong stomach to go through this one..."

Synopsis
In a world where the technology to enter the mind of others exists, a social worker, Catherine (Jennifer Lopez) excels at a revolutionary form of therapy using that very same technology. She then gets hired by the FBI to enter the mind of a comatose serial killer, an attempt to find out where has he hidden his latest victim.

What to Expect
1. Director Tarsem Singh's one of a kind vision
2. Vincent D'Onofrio doing what he does best; playing a pyscho
3. A disturbing, yet strangely beautiful presentation
4. Art bordering on violence and sadism
5. Artistic use of motifs and Christian imagery

What NOT to Expect
1. A dull moment
Not very mainstream or commercial, but that doesn't mean it's any less spectacular
Review
I have to admit, I thought that movies that deal with all things cerebral is a fairly new trend in movies. We have the immensely popular and commercially successful Inception [2010] and the more recent Source Code [2011]. I am aware that they are not among the first ones, but I had always thought that movies prior to that didn't go in depth when it comes to the subject matter. Well, meet Tarsem Singh's feature film debut back in the year 2000, and what a way to break into the industry, I must say.


I have only just began to pay attention to Tarsem Singh, thanks to his upcoming swords and sandals movie, Immortals [2011] and a fellow friend I have on Facebook who convinced me that there is more to him than just that movie. I have now seen both movies he directed so far, and if you would permit me, I would like to include him in my list of favourite directors (will be updated). But enough about him, let's move on with the movie itself

It's always a daunting task to make a movie involving the uninhibited nature of imagination, you have to take the audience on a ride in a world very much unlike ours without making it too outlandish to believe. The Cell did just that, but it also happened to be a Crime thriller with a psychotic serial killer in it. Which can only mean that everything shown on film are meant to keep you at a state of discomfort, and the movie held nothing back to keep you there.


A great deal of what made this movie work was because it starred Vincent D'Onofrio as the serial killer. Hardly a household name, he nevertheless never fails to be memorable at what he does especially when it comes to portraying mentally-disturbed characters. Remember Private Pyle from Full Metal Jacket [1987]? You'll be seeing that, and a lot more.

I can't get over how beautiful this movie is. I don't pretend to be a learned person about the technicalities of movie-making, but hell you don't have to be to appreciate this movie. You'll be drawn into the visuals almost like it was a hypnosis, even when what is shown on screen is rather disturbing. Some might find it to be relatively tame, but I can only assume that those kind of people enjoy torture porn movies to begin with. As far as I'm concerned, I cringed many times yet I can't look away.


Pacing might be a problem if you happen to be one of those MTV audience. But I hardly think anyone wouldn't be drawn into this world the movie is trying to sell to us. Bask yourself in this almost artistic and violent movie wonderfully told with plenty of motifs and imagery to keep both casual viewers and the more literary kind satiated.

Should you see it?
Did you not just read everything I said? I regard this as a "must-see" movie, especially if you like Crime thrillers and the aforementioned Inception [2010] and Source Code [2011], to name a few. Just remember that this is not at all nearly as tame as those two.

2 comments:

charlie fa said...

i think i have watched this movie.tho i only remembered bits and pieces...is this the one yg dia bunuh ada dolls kena bleach?and ada kuda yg di-disect?

-fa

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

It is! That's the one...

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