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Set in modern day Buenos Aires, the film centers around a relationship between two emotionally crippled roommates. Adrian LeDuc is a lonely sociopath who is forced to rent his insane mother's room due to poor ticket sales at his revival movie theater. Jack Carney, the new roommate, appears normal enough at first but it soon becomes apparent that he is hiding something. As their friendship develops, Adrian suppresses his suspicions that Jack may be the government mercenary turned serial killer who has been terrorizing the city. The other eccentric residents of the building begin to worry as Adrian shows increasing signs that his mother's insanity may be hereditary. The shocking climax of this twisted tale of deceit, perversion and murder reveals the darker side of the human psyche. Written by
Adrian LeDuc is a nut. Everyone knows that. His neighbors talk about him in a whisper. They've never been inside his apartment and their imagination takes them through the most perverse scenarios. They couldn't possibly imagine the innocence of the man or his loneliness. Colin Firth creates a character with a million different faces without ever changing his. He could be an emotional wax work. The fact that he invents an identity for himself shouldn't come as a big surprise, he doesn't have one of his own and that is abundantly clear from the first time we see him. He is in the projection booth of his movie theater looking at the screen as if he was in the peep room of a sex shop - Ironic how things are going to turn out. "Apartment Zero" is almost 20 years old but it feels ahead of its time, still. I was able to see it again in its theatrical version with those 6 minutes missing from the video release. Oh what a difference 6 minutes make. There are moments that underline Adrian's loneliness at the beginning, so powerful that the lecture of the entire film is based on the effect provoked by those chilling moments. Adrian/Colin talking to himself at night for instance. Hart Bochner (what an intriguing piece of casting) makes a star entrance that seems to come straight out of Adrian/Colin's cinematic mind. The star has arrived and everything is about to change. Everything will be destined to cater his comfort and well being. Laundry, breakfasts. The star is essential in the movie of Colin/Adrian's life. Hart Bochner - his character's name is Jack Carney, "carne" in Spanish means "meat" - realizes very soon the power he has over Adrian but he doesn't know how to use it. His own feelings (first he discovers to have feelings in a superlative piece of subtle, brilliant acting) get mangled and his frustration takes different forms. Hart intermingles with each one of the neighbors. Those moments in themselves are like short movies with their own kind feel. Suspenseful, erotic, farcical, romantic. - If you listen to Martin Donovan's (the director) commentary in the DVD he credits his actors for practically everything but there is a love there that I'm sure allowed him to get into the darkness with such assured step, fearlessly. The DVD also includes a great exchange between David Koepp and Steven Sodebergh - "Apartment Zero" is unmissable from every front.
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