* Prices may differ from that shown
RELEASED: 2009, Cert. 18
RUNNING TIME : Approx. 85 mins
DIRECTORS: Joel Bergvall & Simon Sandquist
PRODUCERS: Doug Davison & four Others
SCREENPLAY: Michael Petroni, Won-mi Byun & Min-ho Song
MUSIC: Andreas Alfredsson & Christian Sandquist
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Jess
Lee Pace as Roman
Michael Landes as Ryan
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Jess and Ryan are blissfully married, but there is a blot on the landscape of their relationship. Ryan's ex-con brother, Roman, has recently been released from prison and is staying with the couple. Whereas Ryan is a really nice, gentle, warm and loving person, Roman is the opposite....hostile, aggressive and churlish.
After overhearing a discussion Ryan and Jess were having about the possibility of arranging for him to be sent to live at a halfway house, Roman packs his bags then angrily storms out of the house and drives off in a blind rage. Ryan follows in pursuit, hoping to catch his brother up and pacify him, but as the pair cross the Golden Gate Bridge in their own cars, their cars crash into one another. The brothers are taken to hospital, both in comas, and placed in beds in a ward next to one another.
The weeks pass by, with Jess paying regular visits to Ryan, being told by the medical staff that the chances of her husband making a full recovery are doubtful.
One day, Roman wakes up from his coma, yet with the memories and psychology of his much nicer brother....whilst Ryan remains in a coma, with his life in the balance. Believing himself to have somehow taken on his brother's character, Roman tries to convince Jess that he actually is Ryan, just in a different body. At first, Jess is extremely wary, but she gradually allows herself to be convinced that what Roman claims is true, so after listening to things Roman tells her that were completely personal and confidential to both her and Ryan....things that nobody else would or could ever know....she relents and begins to treat Roman as her husband.
Occasionally Jess will have niggling doubts about the authenticity of now nice guy Roman's claims, but he then always says or does something to convince her that somehow Ryan's whole persona has been transmuted into him.
Possession is apparently a remake of a Korean film called Addicted. I haven't seen the Korean film, so am unable to comment on which one is the better of the two, or how closely Possession sticks to the original.
The acting in Possession is what I'd call average; nothing special, yet not overly bad, but I am unable to pick a favourite member of this small main cast, simply because there was nothing to choose between the actors' abilities.
Possession is a very easy film to watch, and I couldn't help being charmed by the lovely, warm and gentle Ryan, yet equally repulsed by his nasty brother, Roman. The interest factor throughout is quite high, and until a certain point in the storyline, it isn't easy to predict where it is going, but as it progresses and various things unfold, the outcome presents as all too obvious.
The idea is one which has, albeit in a different setting and with a different storyline, been done before....well, sort of! Once nasty brother Roman psychologically turns into nice brother Ryan, I did wonder if a supernatural element may be about to unfold, but as to whether it does or not, you must see the film for yourself as to reveal which way the film swings, would be a definite spoiler.
There is an overall mood about Possession which I found quite bleak and depressing, as I could imagine myself in the same situation as Jess....one of despair mixed with dubious hope. However, some of the scenes of affection between husband and wife are rather sweet and heartwarming, although they happen early on in the film.
The music is OK, but nothing special, being light orchestral in content, turning from tender to dramatic at the appropriate moments. I did find it a little too overbearing in parts, and I'd have preferred it to be pushed into the background a bit more, as I felt it interfered with rather than enhanced the storyline.
There is a thread of mystery running through Possession which centres around wondering who the good guys and who the bad guys are, but I feel it perhaps could have been put across more powerfully. This vague tinge of suspense, although interesting and keeping the viewer hooked into the film, isn't really edge of your seat stuff. It is also very much in the 'watch once only' vein, simply because once you know the ending, then there is little point in second helpings. Were the power of the film more stringent, then perhaps a second viewing might be something to consider, but it doesn't quite have the necessary 'oomph'.
I did enjoy watching Possession, but would class it as no more than a piece of entertainment which is quite interesting in parts, but doesn't contain anything profound, spine-chilling or particularly gutsy.....it certainly isn't boring though.
I feel what would have given this film an extra bite, perhaps could be a different ending, because the one it has (as I touched on above), is from a certain point in the proceedings too predictable, and at the actual end, one or two loose ends are left hanging which shouldn't have been.
However, Possession is a moderately decent psychological thriller which is entertaining and interesting enough to focus on, being a reasonable choice to make for an evening's viewing, if you like this genre of film, but I don't think it is something which will stick in my mind for very long. I did enjoy it, but it could have been better.
At the time of writing, Possession can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-
New: from £3.09 to £10.95
Used: from £3.50 to £4.99
Some items on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn't apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
Suffering from some 'Ringer' withdrawal, I decided to watch this thriller starring Sarah Michelle Gellar in hope of being relieved.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Whilst taking on Roman's assault case, lawyer Jess (Sarah Michelle Gellar) meets and later gets married to his brother Ryan (Michael Landes). After his release from prison, Roman (Lee Pace) comes to live with the couple after being rejected by his father.
Upon overhearing Jess complaining about him, Roman flees the next day and as Ryan tries to find him, the two get into a car accident, resulting in both entering into a coma. As Roman wakes up, all his memories are Ryan's, as if he has been possessed. Will Jess accept this new Roman? Or wait for Ryan who may never wake up?
The premise to the movie was promising- a kind of dark body swap thriller mixing in spiritual themes and the unexplained alongside a romantic/dramatic storyline. The pacing to the film was good and many times tried to mislead you into thinking certain things about Roman's condition, which definitely added tension as we await to discover the reason for his change.
However, the inclusion of such themes were not successfully developed, with a focus planted on Jess and Roman's relationship opposed to any spiritual domain, with jumps and thrills coming in the first ten minutes then completely dissolved into some romantic drama.
And this is just what this film is. As the plot heightens into its climax, the movie quickly escalates into a tragic resolution and the revelation was not at all shocking and despite the good action towards the end, the catharsis was unsatisfying and dull.
Sarah Michelle Gellar- Jess
Lee Pace- Roman
Michael Landes- Ryan
Masked as a psychological thriller, 'Possession' does not satisfy the viewer but rather throws out a dramatic romantic dilema with a few jumps and thrills within. The spiritual aspect was introduced but not developed and the conclusion was half-hearted, simple and dull.
The confused, dazed look of Sarah Michelle Gellar in this film definitely satisfied my 'Ringer' craving, it was as if she jumped right off set and landed into this movie, but the movie itself was completely formulaic and uninteresting, no twists or turns, just one straight line of boredom.