[Last Film I Saw] Dead Ringers (1988)

Dead Ringers 1988

Title: Dead Ringers
Year: 1988
Country: Canada, USA
Language: English
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director: David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg
Norman Snider
Bari Wood
Jack Geasland
Music: Howard Shore
Peter Suschitzky

Jeremy Irons
Geneviève Bujold
Heidi von Palleske
Stephen Lack
Shirley Douglas
Barbara Gordon
Nick Nichols
Lynne Cormack
Rating: 7.4/10

Dead Ringers

Cronenberg’s unsettling denuding of an identical twins’ inseparability wreaks controversy in its in-depth protrusion of psychiatric delusion and drug abuse, Jeremy Irons, plays the Mantle twins, both gynecologists and live together, even perversely share the same woman. Albeit their mirror-image resemblance, Beverly is the shy boffin while Elliot is the gregarious mouthpiece who is astute and dedicative in taking care of his younger brother’s every need, after meeting a sterile actress (Claire) who has a mutant vagina, Beverly irrationally falls for her and slowly he becomes drug-addictive and paranoid (cause and effect), and even Elliot couldn’t rescue him, a finally unhinged Beverly slips into the abyss and tragedy is irrevocable.

Irons offers a tour-de-force engagement by splitting himself into two disparate roles, initially one wonders how could we tell them separately, and 5 minutes later, one will realize how distinguishable they are, Beverly is a meek soul, his life orbit is dominated and regulated by Elliot, who is sensible enough to admit they are an entity since neither of them could live without each other, nonetheless, the equilibrium has fatefully been violated by the interloper Claire, Bujold is feisty and emanates a cocktail of independence and vulnerability which fatally enchants Beverly and triggers his downhill of the separation procedure. The midstream of the film deals with the decomposition of Beverly’s mental stability has damped down by a slightly tedious script, which is wanting some explicable introductions to the mayhem it has caused, but the coda does save the pathos and it is mesmerizing and gives a sucker punch to the gut.

Cronenberg’s films often leave me some bitter aftertaste, last year’s COSMOPOLIS (2012) is beyond my interpretation, but DEAD RINGERS has its integral breakdown of a psychosexual drama, and fanboys will be exulted to indulge in Cronenberg’s signature chimerical shots (sundering the umbilical cord, the surgery ceremony in vermillion with a set of eerie apparatus) and there are magical contrivances to put two Jeremy Irons present in the same frames (deeming its pre-computer era), accolades should be also awarded to the film’s steadfast emotion liberation, which encroaches inches by inches into the subliminal conscious of its protagonists, a compelling piece of work rests higher on the shelf than Cronenberg’s other lesser creations.

Oscar 1988 - Dead Ringers


One thought on “[Last Film I Saw] Dead Ringers (1988)

  1. Pingback: [Last Film I Saw] Reversal of Fortune (1990) [7/10] | Cinema Omnivore

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