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IDENTICALS Film Review
Directed By Simon Pummell
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
IDENTICALS, features a brilliant concept: What if you were deeply in love with someone, yet somehow the perfection you thought uniting with that person would bring, was always somehow out of reach? There’s very few of us who haven’t had an intense crush on someone who will never, it seems, be truly ours. But what if you could just reinvent yourself and somehow reach the perfection that the object of your desires and love demanded? Well, this is some of what , IDENTICALS looks at, but it also explores a darker layer of self-destruction, when it’s revealed that this is a system that not only remakes you, but destroys the earlier version. In the same way that human beings try to get over a broken heart, or a failed business, IDENTICALS is about, ‘Brand New U’ a system, where the next life, the remade life, is better, brighter and more perfect than the one before.
Of course humans, being the contrary beings that we are, often re-visit the past to learn, and yearn for the future to come to apply what we’ve learnt, and are rarely content just in the present. Magnified, this concept of destroying the past to achieve a ‘better future’, leads to a film of self-sabotage and self-destruction, all in the name of following that elusive love, the perfection that is just always out of reach, and leads to violence, and, even murder.
Beautifully shot by European cinematographer, Reinier van Brummelen, and wonderfully imaged by all those in involved in the production design and the art direction, this is a classy piece of independent film making. There’ s also the sense that it’s all been carefully planned and thoughtfully executed to make an elegant, seamless, visual feast, which utilises each penny that went into it, in an intricate, thought provoking way. So in that, fair play to the writer/director Simon Pummell, producer Janine Marmot and co-producer Reinier Selen, who have achieved much together.
However, although this is a film that so very nearly hits a fabulous mark, it falls short for, what is more than just an intriguing premise and story is marred by over telling in places, and a very SLOW edit. There’s way too much on screen ‘think time’ for the main character, ‘SLATER’ which continually halts the tension we should feel as the web he weaves around his own life becomes tighter and tighter, the more he is seduced by, ‘Band New U’. There’s a growing desire to shout, ‘ok, we get it!’, as Slater, played ably and stylishly, by British actor, Lachlan Nieboer, slips down a rabbit hole of obsession and darkness. This is a shame, as the story has poignancy and suspense, and with a little more objectivity, and willingness to sublimate creative self-gratification for the good of the story and audience involvement, would have led to a truly fascinating piece. However, as a statement of visual film making it works well. So perhaps the best way to enjoy, IDENTICALS is just to let it wash over, like an installation at an art Gallery, where the overdone repetition, which mars the more genuine aspects of the ‘looping’ factor in the story, seems dreamlike rather than overstatement.
IDENTICALS is available on Digital/VoD 15th August and DVD 22nd August 2016.
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