In the near future or an alternate reality, there are memory detectives, people who have the ability to enter other people's electronically-aided memories. They often are used to resolve psychological conflicts, and sometimes to exonerate someone from a crime. John was at one time the top in this field, but he has been recovering from the death of his wifey, and a stroke. To get back into work the head of the small firm he works for offers him what is supposed to be a simple job - getting 16-year-old Anna to start eating again. However, the "simple job" turns into his most challenging.Written by
When John drives through the gate the first time he goes to Anna's mansion you can clearly see the car had no license plate in the rear. See more »
Near the end, Anna's desperate call to John for help was not used in John's defense of the charges. The time of the call and the call itself would have at least given justification for John being in the house. The call should have at least been explained away or covered in some manner. See more »
I'm not a sociopath, but I'm smart enough to think like one.
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Mindscape, given the less tantalizing title 'Anna' upon release, is a thinking person's thriller, and perhaps a little bit too much so. In the near future, or perhaps some alternate reality, some humans have evolved into pseudo clairvoyants who can enter the memories of other people and interact with their subjects within them. This talent has been trademarked by law enforcement, who employ 'memory detectives' to psychologically resolve conflict or retrieve otherwise out of reach information. Mark Strong is one such man, but his talents have dimmed a bit following the deaths of his family and a crippling stroke. Hauled out of retirement by his former boss (Brian Cox, sly as ever), he finds himself tasked with navigating the labyrinthine mind of Anna (Taissa Farmiga) a girl accused of murder and deemed a potential sociopath pending diagnosis. The film is deliberately dense and elliptical, not standard Hollywood fare at all, which is nice to see, but it also trips just a little bit on its own cognitive aspirations, especially in the third act. It's one of those pieces that's less like The Cell, and more like Vanilla Sky or Danny Boyle's Trance (two absolute favourites of mine) where so much of the story wades through muddy mindgames that at a certain point we think to ourselves 'well who's to say if any of this is actually real if it's gotten so complex', and indeed it's very difficult to piece together what has transpired here, especially with a conclusion that would require multiple viewings to even get an inkling. It's stylish as all hell though, given a clinical, steely grey palette punctuated by flourishes of startling red to show the capacity for violence lurking just out of sight within the opaque and enigmatic human psyche. The acting is top tier as well; Strong is reliably committed and intense, Farmiga is deeply disconcerting as the most fascinating and ambiguous character, showing blossoming talent that I look forward to seeing more of, while Cox steals his scenes as per usual. The film trips over itself a few times and like I said, overly convoluted, but it's one mesmerizing effort for the most part, albeit after a second or third viewing.
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