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|Trap for Cinderella|
dir-scr Iain Softley
prd Robert Jones, Dixie Linder
with Tuppence Middleton, Alexandra Roach, Kerry Fox, Aneurin Barnard, Frances de la Tour, Alex Jennings, Stanley Weber, Emilia Fox, Erich Redman, Nathalie Paris, Pierre Boulanger, Neelam Bakshi
release UK 12.Jul.13
13/UK Lionsgate 1h40
Who am I? Middleton and Roach
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
There's plenty of style and passion in this twisty dramatic thriller, but the plot is packed with events that are deeply implausible. It's impossible to engage with characters who continually do things that make no sense. And in the end, there doesn't seem to be any point to the mayhem.
After a terrible explosion at a holiday home in France, Micky (Middleton) wakes up with amnesia, having had her face rebuilt by surgeons. Her guardian Julia (Kerry Fox) tries to help her return to her life, which was a blur of London parties. Micky seeks out her old boyfriend Jake (Barnard), but feels the absence of her lifelong best pal Domenica (Roach), who died in the fire. As she pieces together her life, she begins to wonder if she's actually who everyone says she is.
From the start we suspect that Micky and Do may have swapped identities, although the script takes a lot longer to hint at this pivotal mystery, which is frankly ludicrous since they aren't the same height, have different coloured hair and different shaped faces. Even surgery couldn't really overcome this, which kind of undermines the film's attempts to crank up suspense by keeping us guessing about who's who.
But the real problem is that it doesn't remotely matter. Because there are no convincing motives for anything the characters may have done. All of them are underdeveloped stereotypes. Middleton is at least intriguing as party-girl Micky, while Roach effectively plays the passive and rather boring Do. As Julia, Fox nicely underplays the sinister subtext until things refreshingly turn much nuttier later on. Sadly, there isn't nearly enough of Barnard or de la Tour.
As always, Softley gives the film a lush visual sensibility, creating a pungent noir atmosphere with observant cinematography and skilful editing that suggest all kinds of things that the script never backs up. Several scenes come and go inconclusively, leaving out convincing arguments for the drastic things the characters do. Why anyone would want to kill Micky or Do is never explained: sure, they're both infuriatingly annoying, but actions this drastic require some sort of reason. And by never making any of that remotely clear, Softley leaves the whole mystery feeling pointless.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2013 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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