Sony’s ‘Identicals’ takes Viewers on a Wild Ride Through the Concept of Identity and a Better Life
Release Date: March 26th, 2015
Cast: Lachlan Nieboer, Nick Blood, Nora-Jane Noone, Tony Way
Director: Simon Pummell
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Review Spoilers: Medium
Imagine having the life you loved, the life you always wanted, and having it taken away within a matter of moments. That’s exactly what happens to the primary character in Sony’s Identicals. Slater, a young man who appears to have his life together and gets to enjoy it with the love of his life, has his birthday outing with his girlfriend interrupted when there’s a pounding on the door. People in masks charge him even though he insists he’s alone, and when it is all said and done his girlfriend is gone and he’s left with an unmasked corpse that looks just like her. He then receives a call, and is told that Nadia is safe but that he has to go to a specific address in order to keep her that way.
It takes him to Brand New-U, a company that creates a better life for its customers. What happens from there is a freaky, suspenseful thrill ride that leaves Slater wrecked while he bounces between trying to figure out what’s happening, and trying to find his girlfriend. Going through multiple realities, all for the sake of a happy life, he finds himself in a number of curious and often dangerous situations. All of them seem geared toward keeping him from ever being reunited with his beloved Nadia.
Identicals is an interesting movie, though at times it was difficult to follow. The over-all premise of the film appeared solid, and it certainly went to great lengths to try and integrate the viewer into a completely foreign world. However, during the integration it lost me. Sometimes the world that Slater was inhabiting was too disjointed and confusing. It was interesting, though, especially considering Slater probably had the same feeling. While the movie was difficult to follow, it almost could have been by design, as we had to see the world through the eyes of a young man who understood the world around him just as much as the audience did.
Cinematically, it was an interesting movie to view. At times, the jumps from one scene to another, or even the point of view within a specific sequence, was disorienting. However, there were a lot of beautiful shots throughout the film that gave it an ethereal feeling. Big spaces, contrasting Slater’s small presence, seemed to be an ongoing theme and in a way made me feel small, too. Everything was big and overwhelming, which played right along with the journey the main character was facing. It added a certain depth to the story that was well received and appreciated.
All in all, I’m glad to have seen Identicals. It is an uneasy movie, appropriately so given what the main character goes through. All the while, as his identity is unstable, the view is forced to embrace their own unstable identity as they try to figure out the world around them through the character of Slater. Though it could have been a little clearer, or perhaps a bit more tactical about its world building, the end result was certainly thought provoking. In a world where we’re all looking to get ahead, just how far would we go to escape the bad we will no doubt experience along the way? For Slater, he was willing to go to extremes in order to have a chance to be with the woman he loved again, and along the way he was forced to examine himself and figure out who he really was.
Identicals will be available on DVD April 5th and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.