|Index||7 reviews in total|
The alcoholic lawyer Derrick Hall (Sam Trammell) has his life
absolutely controlled by his possessive mother and is not able to give
a step by himself. He likes his fiancée Lucy (Susan May Pratt), but he
does not give a definition to their relationship, raising a family of
their own. He is totally dissatisfied with his life, and wishes to turn
it upside down before sleeping. On the next day, his life is swapped
with the criminal Zane Waye, and their lives and attitudes are totally
altered with the exchange.
"Undermind" is a promising and intriguing story, but not well resolved. There is no explanation for the swapping of lives between Derrick and Zane. The collision of the colorful world of Derrick Hall, and the black and white reversed world of Zane Waye, with points of contact, is very interesting and original. I intend to see this movie again in the future, to see if I miss some clarification along the confused story. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Sem Consciência" ("Without Conscience")
Hollywood has made more than a few movies where two character somehow
swap lives for a time and have to adjust. This is one of the best of
The main characters who end up swapping lives are both 20's, male and have lost their fathers. They differ by being on opposite sides of the legal system, if not societal life altogether. Its almost like two universes only slightly different. Similar people in both doing similar things, but the main character's lives couldn't be more different. The binding similarity between the two universes, was an oath a similar character takes towards the main characters' respective fathers. Of course the "action" universe, where he's in the midst of a very criminal life, is flashier and gets more development, and rightfully so.
This story was just told so well. Its been polished and fine tuned and has excellent pace. Just when you've about had it with a whiny mother, the character has too. Everyone was very realistic. There were some nice little details, all print and writing was backwards in the "action" universe, helping guide you through scenes. You have to watch carefully to and absorb what is happening. Try predicting what's next and you'll just be surprised, not by shock, but from genius. The violence is very limited, mostly ketchup on sweaters, no great car chases, just one car blowup. This is not Hollywood.
Watch it again and you get more from it. The ending had a nice surprise, but the movie didn't need saving by a big ending. How this movie hasn't gotten more press is a shame. Everyone involved in this project deserves congratulations.
Undermind is a find! Within 10 minutes of the movie I found myself
alternately utterly confused and exhilarated wondering if I was smart
enough to watch it. Working from his own brilliant script, first time
director Nevil Dwek has created a world where parallel universes meet
and violently collide. The tale revolves around young Derrick Hall, a
corporate lawyer who is far too young to be this world weary and
morose. A little understanding of Derrick's family history reveals a
recently departed, highly successful father who had little time,
patience or trust of his son and a pompous, dictatorial mother who acts
as human choke collar, squelching both life and joy out of every
In the blink of an eye, Derrick's entire world is intercepted and exchanged with that of punky, greasy locked, Zane Waye but he "knows" he's Derrick. Suddenly, nothing makes sense and the two men must search for ways to get back to their respective lives. Each is confronted with situations demanding resourcefulness as each is forced to think outside of his normal pattern. Zane's world is a troubling, dominated by his evil (and idiotic) brother, Ian. It's a world of violence, murder, suspect alliances, drug deals, stuttering porn wannabes, prostitutes and deception.
Along the way the difficult murder case of a well respected cop who happens to be the Brothers Waye's father, is solved, Derrick and Zane find their ways home and the world is set right. The entire cast (even small supporting roles) shine throughout, but top nod easily goes to Sam Trammel who carries the movie as both Derrick and Zane, so convincingly I at times wondered if two different actors were playing the roles.
Director Dwek creates two distinct worlds for our central characters: Derrick's is warm, rich full of browns and velvety textured, while Zane's is stark, black and white with hints of tinting. Eventually (and inevitably) the worlds collide and combine into one.
With such a complex and confusing tale, a completely satisfying ending resolving all loose ends is nearly impossible and here is (for me) the only weak link in a movie without any others. I'm not, however, certain that a better ending could reasonably be achieved. I still give the movie high marks despite the ending (which isn't bad, just not at the level of the rest of the film) as this is one of the smartest and most entertaining things I've seen in ages.
I saw this at the Stony Brook Film Festival on Long Island New York and
generally pleased with it. It split first place in the Jury Awards there
and made a close run for Audience Choice as well.
It takes two characters and basically switches them, giving each a glimpse into the possibilities of parallel existances. Derrick,a spoiled upper crust New Yorker, and Zane, a street thug, are quite opposite but somehow make the mind switch and wind up making do in each other's lives. My main problem with the film was that there was no mechanism for the switch.
It was nicely filmed and nicely acted with each of the personalities being likeable and despicable in appropriate doses. The filming of the duality of parallel worlds was quite creative.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Very good acting and a very good script. I'd say an excellent script
except for one blaring omission...What triggered the switch? And the
fact we were twenty minutes into the movie before the switch occurred.
The switch should have occurred at least 3 minutes earlier and needed
something to trigger it. Just happening isn't really acceptable in
Hollywood or Indiewood. It causes you to stop watching and enjoying and
start asking "what the heck's going on here" and it's not a what the
heck in a good sense but a distracting sense. The trigger could have
been as simple as a more heated debate with his mother, an overdose on
a psychotropic drug, (he was seeing a shrink). The absence of cause
drew as much attention as the presence of a clown selling jewelry would
have. It broke the moment, then it took several minutes to get back
into the movie.
Other than that one oopses the rest of the movie was great. The interplay between the two realities was outstanding and the message "Walk a mile in my shoes" was very potent. The Violent world was implied and did not demand on an over abundance of death and mayhem to instill a sense of danger. It worked very well. As did the limited nudity enough but not too much.
I saw this movie with couple of friends, after reading it was compared
to Memento. Well, it is not. Actually, it's a pretty bad movie.
Acting is terrible, and the script does not make sense. I really didn't understand what the hell the writer and director was trying to say here. I have a feeling he doesn't either :)
The idea of parallel universes and exchanging lives has been extensively used in movies, and this movie does not bring any new message.
I don't want to waste any more time ranting about it. Just to warn potential viewers to skip this one and watch something else.
I saw this at Santa Barbara's film festival and was very surprised. Kind of like Memento but in a way more fascinating. Not entirely sure it all made sense, but it could just be me. But, I AM sure that Sam Trammel is very hot and has real star quality. FAscinating movie.
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