Saturday, September 13, 2003

mistaken identity

I just watched the movie Identity, with John Cusack. I wish I could remember who had recommended it to me as a good film, so I would never listen to any form of art-consumption that they ever had to offer again. I was talking to my friend Corrie afterward, and she stuck up for the film afterwards on the grounds that at least the movie did not follow down the road of its suggestion that maybe it was the angry Indian spirits from the surrounding burial mounds doing the killing (in other words, this possibility turned out to be a red herring). Not to diss Corrie's cinematic criticism, but this seemed to open an entirely new technique of making films satisfying to the liberal moviegoer: offer the possibility that maybe the plot will be resolved in the politically-offensive and aesthetically-stupid way, and then instead just resolve it in a politically-innocuous but arguably even more aesthetically-stupid way. The liberal viewer, being relieved that the film decided not to drive down an ideologically-icky road, then assesses the film as actually being good, or at least passable.

Note: Read only if you have not already seen Identity! This may piss you off, but I'm doing it for your own good: In Identity, it turns out that all of the different characters are actually different personalities inside this one serial killer with multiple-personality-disorder's head, where one of them is the bad, killing personality that needs to be rooted out before he kills the rest (all the action is actually going on inside the killers mind). You find this out about 2/3 through. You are led to believe the bad personality is the Ray Liotta character, and that good has prevailed when the prostitute looking for a second chance is the one personality to survive, but actually it turns out in the end that the little kid did not die in the car explosion after all and instead he is the real killer, including a flashback seen where you get to see him actually kill the previous victims and get to see just how implausible it all actually is, even by the standards of a fantasy made up inside a serial killer's head.

There, I think that was just my first mercy spoiler.

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