Identity

I really don’t know if you (and everyone else who has raised this question/objection) are being serious or not. If you are serious, you’re being way too literal. The Kid is capable of doing anything to anyone at anytime because he’s not real. The people he kills aren’t real. Everything is subject to the whims of the killer’s imagination; what he wants to happens, happens.

I thought the movie was really good, although the final twist, with the Kid showing up in Florida, was a bit too obvious.

[quote=William Harms][/quote]

Yes, yes, thats the point I was making (at least trying hard not to make) - but your version is much too clear, so now you’ve gone and ruined the fun of confusing the piss out of each other. Bastard. :D

You need to get with the program of these movie threads. It generally devolves into some ludicrousness that even the most sane people, at the end, start asking themselves whether we all saw the same movie. So get with the program will ya? :wink:

Yes, yes, thats the point I was making (at least trying hard not to make) - but your version is much too clear, so now you’ve gone and ruined the fun of confusing the piss out of each other. Bastard. :D

You need to get with the program of these movie threads. It generally devolves into some ludicrousness that even the most sane people, at the end, start asking themselves whether we all saw the same movie. So get with the program will ya? :wink:[/quote]

Haha. I’ll do better next time.

What you’re saying is not very accurate.

Visually the movie is presented as logical with some strange events (everyone has the same birthday, etc.). But strictly visually, it is presented realistically. The actors do not morph in physical form, they never use telepathy (which obviously could be done given the circumstances), their steps make noise, they act believably emotionally, they ACT as if they exist in traditional fashion. They act puzzled at the strange events. They act as if they have no knowledge of their true existence as a mental fabrication, with the possible exception of the Child (he looks out the window as if in anticipation, he doesn’t express emotion at the injury of the mother, etc). Of course, all of these are easily viewed as nothing out of the ordinary (the kid may be waiting for help or a betterment in his condition by looking out the window, he may be in shock or ignorance at the result of the mother, etc).

So now some of you are coming along and saying “There is no physical logic in the film. The kid has full-sized adult strength. The kid produces a bomb out of thin air, knowledge out of thin air. The mental construct presents his hair as dry”.

So why didn’t this illogic show up in the visuals? I mean… things were even detailed. None of my visions or imaginations can present full details on a scene… I can look around the room I’m in NOW, close my eyes, and I still can’t remember all the details.

And given that some environments (such as the rooms) were visited multiple times and that all of these environments were fabricated (from memory), shouldn’t the rooms have changed in detail as Pops’s memory of them changed? I don’t recall a single instance of a detail changed that could not be ascribed to one of the humans (or the storm) changing it.

Shouldn’t the edges of the rooms, the parts Pops has no memory of, be fuzzy and indistinct?

My take on all of this is that for the twist to work, the movie had to be established as physically real. If the visuals were played as a memory, moviegoers would have known something fishy was going on.

And so the movie becomes falsified. Either the Kid is physically real and cannot commit those murders in those ways, OR nothing is physically real (though the motel at least was a remembered re-creation) and the visuals should have been done very differently.

You just summed up why I hated that movie.

Ugh.

Didn’t Dr. Alfred Molina say, during the exposition about how the movie was really just a treatment of multiple personality disorder, that none of the personalities had ever met before? And that by bringing them together, they would kill each other off?

Okay, how could they have never met if they consisted of a mother, her son, and his stepfather? And two criminals on the lam? And a young couple just married in Vegas because he’d gotten her pregnant? This guy’s multiple personalities were a downright incestuous bunch.

And did anyone else find it distubing that Amanda Peet, who is really kind of hot, turns out to actually be Pruitt Taylor Vince, who isn’t hot at all?

 -Tom

n.a aaa

Hey now. That’s a matter of taste.

Spoilers…

Well, I just saw this movie this afternoon. Hooray for unemployment!
I thought it was okay–not great, but good for a Monday afternoon.

Come on now fellas. Do you hold Mr Scott to his word when he tells you that the dillithium crystals can’t possibly be recharged in time to activate the shields? Some stuff you just gotta believe, because, well, Mr Scott ought to know.

I honestly don’t know what Molina said, but I never got the sense that everyone in the dream suddenly realized that they were multiple personalities. Maybe the Ray character figured it out because he looked in the mirror and saw Pruitt’s ugly mug, but it’s not even for sure he brought that knowledge back into the dream.

When I am dreaming it’s not the images so much as it’s the feelings I assign to the images. I think that’s the point. You can’t force logic onto a dream. You just have it. If something illogical happens that scares you, it’s a scary dream. If something illogical happens that excites you, it’s a different kind of dream. I never wake from a dream and think, but there were just not enough details to make it a scary or exciting dream. It’s just a given. It’s like a well crafted short story–your mind fills in the minutia required by the story. Why? Because you’re trying to elicit an emotional connection from the reader. You do this with a few well placed details, not a laundry list of everything that has to populate the environment.

We have a new theatre in our neighborhood showing movies about to go to DVD, cable, etc. I just saw Identity last week for $2 – such a deal! Spoilers to follow.

I really enjoyed it. It’s not a movie that holds up logically, just like Signs doesn’t hold up after the fact, but nor is it a message movie like Signs that becomes dissatisfying once you realize it falls apart under scrutiny.

Identity’s more like Sixth Sense. It wants to fool you and then surprise you by showing you how you’ve been fooled, whether you ever had a real chance of figuring out you were being fooled. It cheats quite a bit more than Sixth Sense, but does that really matter? The movie’s more about walking out of the theatre feeling like the plot was clever and kept you on the edge of your seat, wondering. Sure, the bat-down-the-throat murder ruled out the kid as a suspect in my mind, but that was only because I didn’t know the whole thing was a deranged fantasy in the killer’s mind.

In dreams and fantasy anything goes, and we don’t usually realize how illogical it all is until we wake up. The fantasy-logic of Identity works throughout the movie; it’s only when we blink and get up and leave the theatre that we question it, just like our dreams don’t make sense the more we think about them. How does the kid get from the West to Florida? Might as well ask how your own dreams shift from one place to another without any logical transition.

Identity’s a clever movie. Good writing, good acting, suspenseful, and interesting twists and turns. You could do a lot worse, such as Matrix Reloaded and even X2, movies with stories so dull you find yourself waiting for the next action scene to start.

I’m sorry but a good mystery flick should at least give the audience some opportunity to be able to put the pieces together and come up with the villan. What Identity did was, “Lets pin this on the least suspecting character for no real logial reason other then say to the audience, ‘Haha! Fooled you! Bet you didn’t see that coming did ya?’” In other words, the twist has to be both surprising and understandable once made.

Spoilers coming:

I’m with Mark on this. I liked the newness of the approach, although I don’t agree with your assesment of all the other films mentioned (X2, Signs, etc). And I don’t think it was completely implausible for the kid to be the one, Jazar. Why did you count him out?

Spoiler

“Jazar. Why did you count him out”

Because kids usually don’t hotwire cars to explode, shove baseball bats down people’s throat, or take on 20 something year olds with a knife (IIRC). Sure it can all be explained by the fact that it’s all happeneing inside this crazy guy’s mind but then that takes away from it being a good ‘twist’ of the boy being the killer.

I’d argue that most mysteries, movie or book, don’t give the reader a fair chance to solve the mystery. Edmund Wilson who first wrote about this in his essay Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd. The appeal of a mystery for many may just be in seeing the mystery solved and the world set aright again.

Identity doesn’t even start out like a mystery anyway. It starts out like a horror movie, a slasher flick. It’s only when we realize the escaped prisoner isn’t behind the murders that it becomes a mystery, and the real mystery isn’t who’s killing the people but where is it all taking place, and we do get some clues to that, such as when the convict runs away from the motel but inexplicably ends up back at the motel again. That’s a huge clue right there. The only explanation is that what’s happening isn’t real. As viewers we’re not ready to accept that yet.

Dig it. What Mark just said.

Mulholland Drive is a great example of dream analogies.

Identity is not about Dreams. The man is not dreaming (reality created during unconsciousness) at any point in the movie. The movie is about Memory, Will, and Judgement.

The movie is an examination of the Identity of the killer. Its about who the man is… who he was all along.

The movie continues to be problematic because of the traditional and physical rendering of the characters and setting, while the context is supposed to be psychological.

The people walk like normal, talk like normal, think like normal, act like normal, and THEN the killer turns out to possess superhuman strength for his size. And THEN the killer turns out to have dry hair while outside in the rain. And THEN the killer teleports thousands of miles.

If the killer has all of these powers, what the hell was the movie for? Why didn’t the killer just bring out his Super Bomb of Death and kill everyone instantly?

If the killer (per my theory) was exacting revenge upon the humans who had abused him during his life, then his method of torture was pathetic. He did get to see terror in their eyes, but only briefly. This guy obviously needs some lessons.

Identity is a movie that could have been great but whose flaws undermine it severely. More thought should have gone into the project, and it probably would have worked better in an indie/art arena where the visual style could have been non-mainstream.

Nope, I mostly agree with Tim and Mark. (In case anyone has gotten this far and sitll needs a spoiler warning, here come the spoilers.) Up to the point of the first twist (it’s all a dream, with apologies to Brian Koontz for my misuse of the word), the movie is really pretty damn good. It’s tense, the acting is good, it’s somewhat cliche and has a few bits of bad dialog, but it keeps you interested and guessing. I really liked the way stuff slowly moved from “it’s a dark and stormy night, yadda yadda yadda,” to “Wait a second–what the fuck is going on here? All of reality is falling apart at the seams.” It’s like a good ST: TNG episode.

At the point where you figure out what’s going on, I thought the movie was really good. I agree that there isn’t enough in the movie for the audience to realistically figure it out, but that’s fine–I think the same is true of other great movies, like “Sixth Sense.” The point of this is not a challenge to see if you can figure out the truth before it’s revealed to you–that kind of movie can be great, too, but that’s just not what this was. Instead, this was the sort of movie where they present tantalizing clues that don’t seem to make sense, and then tie it all together with a clever twist. I liked it a lot.

Now, the extra twists they added after that, I thought that stuff was kind of lame. Not because it’s not believeable or because there weren’t sufficient clues to allow me to figure it out, but just because it seemed useless and tacked-on. If it had ended after Amanda Peet moves to Florida, even that would have been pretty cool.

I felt about it the same way I felt about Phone Booth. They both would have made significantly better-than-average half-hour Twilight Zone episodes. They were both entertaining while I was watching them. I’m not sure either really needed or deserved the larger scope of the big screen. Both could have been shorter without losing anything. And neither really stands up well to critical examination after you’ve left the theater.

To me it was a nicely done popcorn-munching movie. There’s not a lot that stays with you other than the clever plot-twists. It’s just heads-and-shoulders above most movies in that it’s not stupid, poorly-written, or poorly-acted.

Hey, The Sixth Sense gave you lots to go by. I figured “the twist” out half-way through. Didn’t ya notice that no one ever spoke to Bruce?

Not that the quality of the movie depended on the “twist”. It more a nice coda to an atmospheric picture.

Troy