In London, the radiologist Gina McVey organizes a surprise birthday party to her father John McVey with her boyfriend Stefan Chambers, her brother Daniel McVey and his girlfriend Kate ...
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In London, the radiologist Gina McVey organizes a surprise birthday party to her father John McVey with her boyfriend Stefan Chambers, her brother Daniel McVey and his girlfriend Kate Coleman. On the next day, she sees herself driving a car on the street and she follows the woman to her apartment, where she finds a picture of her father and her. While driving back, she has a car crash and loses parts of her memory; further, she believes Stefan is another man. Gina decides to investigate what is happening and unravels a dark reality. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The inventive spelling of the title reads somewhat silly in Norwegian and Danish since the Ø in broken is a letter in the alphabet in these languages and sounds like the "u" in "burden". In addition "brøken" is the Norwegian and Danish word meaning "the fraction". See more »
Whenever it shows the car-wreck (and the replays thereof), the "person" in the driver-seat is obviously a dummy. See more »
[opening screen, small text on black]
You have conquered and I yield.
Yet henceforward art thou also dead - dead to the World, to Heaven, and to Hope!
In me didst thou exist - and, in my death, see by this image, which is thine own, how utterly thou hast murdered thyself.
Edgar Allan Poe
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If the music played during the first half of the closing credits sounds a bit off, that's because it's being played backwards. See more »
It was with great anticipation that I attended the World Premiere of "The Broken" at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Writer/director Sean Ellis had impressed me so much with his first feature, "Cashback," that I selected it as my #1 Top Pick from the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival (of over 30 films I saw) and as one of my Top Picks of the year. So with this, his second feature, the bar was set pretty high for me. I expected to be wowed and boy, was I. "The Broken" simply left me in awe.
The film's London setting is perfect for a story shrouded in mist and mystery. Lena Headey ("300," "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") is Gina McVey, a radiologist whose life is turned inside-out when she begins to question the true identities of those around her. To them, she is losing touch with reality. But she is determined to prove them wrong. To do so, however, would be to entertain the possibility that the world is more broken than the bones on the X-rays which occupy her days. Mirrors seem to shatter at will, as does her perception of whose life she is leading.
Headey's performance is central to the film and it is hers to make or break. She accomplishes it with ease and is frighteningly brilliant. Veteran Richard Jenkins is delightfully haunting as Gina's father. But, more than just about any film I've seen since his "Cashback," it is the look, tone, and pacing of Ellis' film which makes "The Broken" a haunting, heart-pounding experience. With cinematographer Angus Hudson at the helm, "The Broken" boasts a visual style worthy of the best Hitchcock has to offer. The use of natural and single-point lighting enhances the shadowy world in which Gina finds herself. Long tracking shots and silence are a much more effective way of heightening tension than the rapid-fire dialogue and fast cuts which populate horror films, and nobody is better at it than the team of Ellis, Hudson, and editor Scott Thomas. In any good psychological thriller, the soundtrack becomes a character unto itself and Guy Farley's score does just that. "The Broken" truly runs on all cylinders and never misfires.
No film can be too Hitchcockian for my taste, and this would truly have gotten Alfred's stamp of approval. My own sensibilities were shaped by a childhood reading the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, watching "The Twilight Zone" on television and, as well as Hitchcock's work, more recent films that play with space and time like "Jacob's Ladder" and "Donnie Darko." The combination of science fiction and psychological thriller is the stuff of classic cinema and Ellis hits the mark again. I sat in wonder with my jaw open, literally, many many times during the midnight screening.
"The Broken" keeps the viewer guessing until the very end. From the first shattered mirror to the last drop of blood we join Gina on her quest for the truth and the outcome will stay with you long after the end credits roll. "The Broken" establishes Ellis as a modern master of provocative storytelling.
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