Friday, May 11, 2007

LIKE MINDS - silly plot, outstanding central performance

LIKE MINDS is a curious new thriller set in a British public school. Weird new kid Nigel has a fondness for dissecting dead animals in his dorm room. He also believes that he and his room-mate, Alex, are descendants of the Knights Templar and have an obligation to well - the film isn't entirely clear on this but I think it boils down to screwing corpses. That the film manages to hold our attention for quite as long as it does is down to the moody cinematography and direction by debut helmer, Gregory J Read and powerful central performances by Eddie Redmayne as Alex and Patrick Malahide as his father, the Headmaster. That the film ultimately fails boils down to, I think, three things. First, Tom Sturridge is weak as Nigel. He spends the first half of the film looking indifferent and stoned rather than murderous and mad. Second, Richard Roxburgh and Toni Colette, who play a copper and a forensic psychologist respectively, do not hold onto their English accents, which brings us out of the moody boarding school atmosphere. Third, the final twist seems to come out of nowhere and does not ring true. Still, as thrillers go, you could do worse, and the movie is worth seeing for Redmayne's performance alone.

LIKE MINDS was released in Australia in 2006 and is currently on release in the UK.

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