In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a fellow patient, a little girl with a broken arm, a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. Thanks to his fractured state of mind and her vivid imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs as the tale advances.
Catharine Deane is a psychotherapist who is part of a revolutionary new treatment which allows her mind to literally enter the mind of her patients. Her experience in this method takes an unexpected turn when an FBI agent comes to ask for a desperate favour. They had just tracked down a notorious serial killer, Carl Stargher, whose MO is to abduct women one at a time and place them in a secret area where they are kept for about 40 hours until they are slowly drowned. Unfortunately, the killer has fallen into an irreversible coma which means he cannot confess where he has taken his latest victim before she dies. Now, Catherine Deane must race against time to explore the twisted mind of the killer to get the information she needs, but Stargher's damaged personality poses dangers that threaten to overwhelm her. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The scene in which the horse is cut into segments suspended in glass cases is inspired by the work of British artist Damien Hirst (e.g., the installation "Some Comfort Gained from the Acceptance of the Inherent Lies in Everything"). See more »
After Peter revives from entering into the subconscious, he takes the cloth off his face and places it at his left side. In the next shot, the cloth is moved to right under his chin. See more »
Do you believe there is a part of yourself, deep inside in your mind, with things you don't want other people to see? During a session when I'm inside, I get to see those things.
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"The Cell" is an exotic masterpiece, a dizzying trip into not only the vast mind of a serial killer, but also into one of a very talented director. This is conclusive evidence of what can be achieved if human beings unleash their uninhibited imaginations. This is boldness at work, pushing aside thoughts to fall into formulas and cliches and creating something truly magnificent. This is the best movie of the year to date.
I've read numerous complaints about this film, anywhere from all style and no substance to poorly cast characters and bad acting. To negatively criticize this film is to miss the point. This movie may be a landmark, a tradition where future movies will hopefully follow. "The Cell" has just opened the door to another world of imagination. So can we slam the door in its face and tell it and its director Tarsem Singh that we don't want any more? Personally, I would more than welcome another movie by Tarsem, and would love to see someone try to challenge him.
We've all heard talk about going inside the mind of a serial killer, and yes, I do agree that the "genre" is a bit overworked. The 90s were full of movies trying to depict what makes serial killers tick; some of them worked, but most failed. But "The Cell" does not blaze down the same trail, we are given a new twist, we are physically transported into the mind and presented with nothing less than a fascinating journey of the most mysterious subject matter ever studied.
I like how the movie does not bog us down with too much scientific jargon trying to explain how Jennifer Lopez actually gets to enter the brain of another. Instead, she just lies down on a laboratory table and is wrapped with what looks like really long Twizzlers and jaunted into another entity. "The Cell" wants to let you "see" what it's all about and not "how" it's all about, and I guess that's what some people don't like. True, I do like explanations with my movies, but when a movie ventures onto new ground you must let it do what it desires and simply take it in.
I noticed how the film was very dark when it showed reality, maybe to contrast the bright visuals when inside the brain of another. Nonetheless, the set design was simply astonishing. I wouldn't be surprised if this film took home a few Oscars in cinematography, best costumes, best director and the like. If it were up to me it'd at least get nominated for best picture.
I've noticed that I've kind of been repeating myself. Not because there's nothing else to say, but because I can't stress enough how fantastic I thought "The Cell" was. If you walk into the movie with a very open mind and to have it taken over with wonders and an eye-popping feast then you are assured a good time. I guess this film was just a little too much for some people, writing it off as "weird" or "crazy". I am very much into psychology and the imagination of the human mind, so it was right down my alley. Leaving the theater, I heard one audience member say "Whoever made that movie sure did a lot of good drugs." If so, I want what he was smoking.
**** (out of 4)
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