Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Choose - movie review

Choose is a 2011 movie that combines many lurid plot elements with a genuinely interesting central idea  - about the importance of the choices that people make in their lives. It also benefits from the fleeting appearance of that fascinating actor Bruce Dern, now a veteran, who has made a career out of playing weird guys. Here he is a dodgy shrink, whose past experiments with "choice therapy" proved ill-advised, to put it mildly.

The film begins by introducing us to a nice suburban family. Unfortunately, a mysterious and deranged killer breaks into their home, and forces the daughter to choose which of her parents should die. The story then switches to a young aspiring journalist called Fiona (Katheryn Winnack) and her father, a cop who has to investigate a developing series of crimes committed by the madman. But Fiona is contacted by the madman, and decides to investigate herself. The madman's motive for his crimes, although naturally far-fetched, is well integrated into the storyline.

Fiona, like one or two other characters in the film is required by the script to do some daft things - most of al when she accepts an invitation from the killer to meet him at a deserted facility that clearly has significance to him. He tells her to "come alone" - and she does. Not a good choice! One is tempted to say that she deserves her fate, although a double twist ending means that her fate is not quite what you might have expected.

I found Choose to be a decent time-passer, but the "choice" theme was not explored deeply enough to make the film truly memorable. The acting was competent - Winnack and Dern, in their very different ways, are certainly watchable - and the film was wisely kept short and fairly snappy. There was just enough originality about the storyline to maintain interest throughout. It would be good, though, to see a film that made more poweful and thought-provoking use of the theme of choice.

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