Friday, July 10, 2015
Movie Highlight: Self/Less
T&T Brief Synopsis: In SELF/LESS directed by Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall, Immortals) Damien Hale (Ben Kingsley) is a self-made billionaire, full of entitlement and a cut throat business acumen. He resides in a gilded Manhattan high rise mausoleum; is used to private jets, chauffeurs and getting his own way with everyone, except his daughter Claire (Michelle Dockery) who runs a do-gooder non-profit organization and wants very little to do with her father and nothing to do with his money. Despite his failure with his daughter, Damien loves his life and is not ready to pass on to the next one - cancer metastasized through his body be damned. He's mysteriously given a business card, on the back is written - This Can Help You. "This" turns out to be "shedding" which is a bit more than a cancer center or even cryogenics. Shedding is switching your consciousness into another healthy, younger body. But where do these bodies come from?
"Self/Less" puts me in mind of the Flintstones where Fred gets conked on the head by a bowling ball and Barney takes him to see Dr. Frankenstone who has been experimenting with switching personalities in animals - during this episode called "Monster Fred" Fred, Barney, Wilma, Betty, Dino and the doctor all wind up switching personalities. [Note: above video will not be visible to those receiving Tinsel & Tine via RSS Feed. Click HERE to view].
T&T Deduction: Self/Less is really more thriller than sci-fi. It brings up some interesting concepts, but it's hardly interested in defining consciousness or how it can be harnessed and moved. Instead the movie focuses in on Damien in his new body, which is played by Ryan Reynolds. My main issue with the movie is that Reynolds didn't try in the least to bring any of Ben Kinsley's sense of self-entitlement and gracious manners into his new body. He's simply Ryan Reynolds through and through. The side-effects to switching bodies is the fact that sometimes you revert back to the memories of the person who had your body before you - so it would makes sense that during these scenes, Reynolds should play himself as the ex-Army guy who used to inhabit the body; but when he's Damien, we should be able to see the difference. The other issue - there's absolutely no suspense in terms of wondering how it will end, it's very obvious half way through.
What does work is the action, the fun of picking up clues as to what's really going on beneath the surface, and the peril of the characters once they realize they are in danger, and why.
Afterwards, I asked my friend T who saw the movie with me, and suffers from quite a few physical impairments, if he could switch bodies with a younger, healthier specimen would he try it? His answer surprised me, he said no, it wouldn't be fair because his disabilities stem from being a dare-devil in his youth and wracking himself up, that he'd had his fun and accepts life as it is. Of course if Damien's view on life had been similar, it would have been a very short movie.
T &T's LAMB Score: 2.5 outta 5
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