Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mackenzie Phillips and Kris
Directed by: John Maybury
speaking? The Jacket is an uncategorizable little film; part romance, part
horror, part mind-bending dimensional study; perhaps its best lapel label is what
could be called the Charlie Kaufmanesque genre. But, certainly Kaufman Lite -
1/3 the flavor but still a satiating drink of entertainment
are many pros and cons within the film - luckily the pros ultimately out way the
cons. Especially in the acting and mood of the piece. Within the ever-evolving
screenplay, which sometimes jerks along as elegantly as an etch-a-sketch in scherzo,
lay its nucleus, Adrien Brody. Film loves Brody. And Adrien returns the admiration
by supplying the medium with a one-of-a-kind duality of a subtle screaming talent
that just makes him beguiling - even in say something as mundane as a Pepsi commercial
Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) has just been shot in the head in a war situation.
As he lay bleeding from the skull he announces to us, "This was the first
time I died
" and off we go.
Starks recovers from the massive
head wound and lands wandering in his home state of Vermont upon a lonely road.
He comes across a woman and her daughter. The woman is stinking drunk, and the
child curious and friendly, their vehicle broken down
he fixes things up
and off the little family go in their truck, he back upon the road.
hour later Starks hitches a ride with the wrong guy (Brad Renfro) and consequently
ends up on trial for murdering a police officer.
where the jacket comes in.
whose wartime head wound apparently left a big scar as well as a bit of mental
disturbance, is sentenced to a psychiatric institute. Once there Jack becomes
part of his bizarre doctor's (Kris Kristofferson) experiments on the loonier of
the nest's loons via psychotropic drugs, a filthy restraining jacket (that looks
suspiciously like an old sea-diver's suit circa 1899) and a chamber the fine doctor
flings these victims, err, patients into; a chamber which is basically a morgue
drawer deep in the catacombs of the hospitals basement.
getting good now
goes bonkers in the horrific space and his mind (swimming in experimental drugs)
transports him to far away places. Well, far in the future at least, the actual
location of his"time travel" is basically just over the hill in the
his mind travels Jack meets a familiar face from his past named Jackie Price (Keira
Knightley). Jackie is to become a part of his now, which is the future - maybe.
ad to the whole conundrum, Jack also discovers while in the chamber "day
tripping," he was murdered years before he even met Jackie. Now the two try
to solve his murder. I think.
that's what is great about the film - thinking. While it's no Memento in
its delivery or depth, it does make you work for the plot. Something I
that Village crapfest aside, Adrien Brody is a stunning
talent. He has these eyes that convey a thousand words with a glance. Not traditionally
handsome he's still edible - like a big slice of torte rustica; layers of rich
and fine ingredients - that may not be the most beautiful selection on the dish,
but certainly one of the tastiest.
for you female lovin' of the species
. the rumors heard like enigma code
through the boy's locker room are true! Keira Knightley does flash the boobski
in a tub scene. But, more importantly, she also ads another layered emotional
portrait to her ever growing list of character studies. Is it fair to say she
was almost too beautiful for this role? Perhaps not.
Jason Leigh shows up as a doctor in the ward - not sure what her character's point
was - but it is always nice to see Miss Parker on the big screen.
more art-as-film lovers should immediately venture forth to see this artistical,
if not brilliant, piece. The ads, which make the film look like a cross between
The Ring and Leatherface, are ill executed. It's a man's mind trip
with several open interpretations as to what he is experiencing. A thinking film
some may not be willing to grant the process. But, the performance by Brody and
the nightmare scape, deliciously executed by cinematographer Peter Deming and
production designer Alan MacDonald (and crew) - as directed by John Maybury accented
with a Brian Eno score - alone are worth the fee-to-view. Enjoy.
recommendation: Tums with a Prozac chaser