Fayâ€™s (Sophie Turner) ideal life goes to hell when her dad (Rhys Ifans) gets sick, she gets bullied at school by the â€śitâ€ť girl (Charlotte Vega) and a mysterious double (a doppelganger if you will) starts stalking her and interfering with her life. What the bleep is going on here?
I fell upon ANOTHER ME
by accident. I was watching an educational video on YouTube (girl crapping her pants while twerking) and eventually spotted Sophie Turner glancing back at me from a preview for the ANOTHER ME trailer. Being that I dig Sophie Turner (by way of worshiping GAME OF THRONES), I checked it out and once the trailer done, I had to tap the movie. Alas ANOTHER ME has yet to get a proper North American release; but thankfully it’s up on Amazon Instant Video
. So I put some coin down and clocked it. Was I ripped off?
ANOTHER ME was an adaptation of a Young Adult novel by Cathy MacPhail. To be honest, I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t done some research afterwards. Even though the film dealt with teenagers within a high school setting; the elevated directing by Catalan director Isabel Coixet (Paris I Love You, Elegy , The Secret Life of Words) completely fooled me into thinking that this film was aimed at grown ups. Along with the lovely Sophie Turner’s endearing and intense performance (the camera loves this girl); the visual style here was the main strength of the film. The shots were stylized, the framing inventive, the eye popping locations ideally captured, the editing sharp and the bleak mood fairly unsettling. Coixet was well backed here by her token cinematographer Jean-Claude Larrieu and both made this bad girl look sumptuous! I also loved the novel ways Coixet visually conveyed the theme of duality throughout (like two swings swinging at the same time for example) while the subtle fear bits worked for the most part. Nothing terrifying here, eerie was the word!
Story wise, I’m personally fascinated with the idea of having a double out there; and I’m a sucker for movies that address it. DEAD RINGERS, VERTIGO and even its De Palma rip-off OBSESSION are all movies that crank my dial and for the bulk of the time; ANOTHER ME had me by the hacky-sack as well. Its apparitions, mind-games and red herrings all stimulated my one brain cell, and for a while there, I was having a blast! NOTE: If I have a double out there, come and take over my life please! Have fun with them debts bubba! But I digress.
Another upside with ANOTHER ME was the solid cast! The great Rhys Ifans was impeccable as always. His role was fairly small, but he he stood out none the less. On his end Jonathan Rhys Meyers was all charisma and let his Irish accent gap the rest. Charlotte Vega made for a sexy and despicable “mean girl”, Gregg Sulkin did the Ken Doll thing adequately while Claire Forlani pulled a hat trick, making an unlikeable character on paper affable on film by displaying nuances that weren’t necessarily on the page. Shite, even Geraldine Chaplin (daughter of Charlie) popped up to class the flick up! Add to all that an easy pace, hard hitting drama, a brilliant sound design, a powerful use of the song You Haunt Me by Lisa Hannigan (which was a cover of Richard Hawley’s tune), a spooky score by Michael Price and a tantalizing mystery that yes, I guessed fairly early on, but that still whooped that ass when elbow dropped my way and you get an appealing and audio/visually arresting little genre ditty!
On a bad stab, as I was watching ANOTHER ME, I kept thinking “if it continues to be this strong during its middle section” I should be golden. Sadly as with many films; ANOTHER ME ran out of juice for its second act. The flick forgot it was a horror movie and became a full blown drama. It also seemed to stall, going around in circles, killing time till its last act kicked in. Another peeve I had was that once all the cards were on the table; the internal logic proved to be flawed. Now I can’t go into details about it without spoiling, so I will just say: after the reveal, looking back one thing made no f-ing sense no matter how I spun it. I do attribute that to the writing. Finally; the flick had one dumb move to serve the plot that I couldn’t ignore: “If you’re gonna cheat on your partner with a lover, maybe not have him pick you up right in front of your home window where your better half can see you”. But hey that’s just me!
At the end of the neck snap; ANOTHER ME was a style over substance flick with nifty ideas and a tip-top cast. Thing is, I'm a style whore and I often forgive movies with shortcomings in their narrative if it managed to stir me with its audio and visuals. ANOTHER ME was an ideal example of that!
ANOTHER ME had a stellar cast, a gripping initial premise, all kinds of creepy moments and some poignant drama. Granted the script wasnâ€™t always up to snuff. The flick dropped it horror angle for its middle section, killed time cause it was out of meat and once all was said and done; one crucial element made no sense to me whatsoever. On that; film is an audio/visual medium first and foremost for me; hence even though the script faltered, I was always kept in the game by this oneâ€™s superior aesthetics. ANOTHER ME didnâ€™t wind up being the masterpiece I thought it was going to be half an hour in; but it still made for a pleasant sit down and I recommended it to anybody that likes to see mainstream horror elements communicated in an artsy-farsty way. Iâ€™m a sucker for that shit, are you?
Young star of Pan's Labyrinth (2006) Ivana Baquero had a small role here as one of Fay's friends.
Isabel Coixet found Jonathan Rhys Meyers difficult to work with.