And then there was nothing

Ed (John Cusack) tells Paris (Amanda Peet) to stay put

Ed (John Cusack) tells Paris (Amanda Peet) to stay put  

Identity (English)

Cast: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Ray Liotta

Dir: James Mangold

A CHARACTER in the middle of the movie says, "this reminds of a film where ten people are stranded on an island and start dying one by one," obviously referring to the movie version of Agatha Christie's And then There Were None. The movie shares more than the plot premise with the Christie chiller.

Like the book, which Christie aficionados do not rank among her best because of the tiny bit of cheating involved, the movie is wonderful till the big fat twist, which is a major letdown. The film opens on a dark, stormy rain drenched night in a motel in rural Nevada.

The roads are flooded, all forms of communication are dead and a group of strangers are stranded with a shifty manager in the motel. There is a world-weary ex-cop Ed complete with a well- thumbed copy of Sartre's Being and Nothingness. Ed drives a Limo for a spoilt has been television actress.

Then there is a prostitute, Paris, who wants to make a fresh start. A happy family with mama, papa and son, a squabbling young couple and a police officer who is transporting a dangerous criminal complete the group. Each of the characters seem to have a guilty secret and of course people start dying horribly leaving us to guess who the killer is and who would be the next victim.

James Mangold (Girl, Interrupted) has managed to create a nice creepy look for the film. The twists and turns and the gruesome deaths (the one with the clothes dryer would do no good for washing machine sales) are enough to keep all murder mystery addicts happy. The only happy Bob Dylan love song (I Want You) is used with chilling effect.

And then comes the twist which tells you the film you are watching is not the actual thing so then why go back to it which is what the film does and then you just get super irritated for being taken for this silly pretentious ride. Acting department is well spoken for with John Cusack as Ed, feisty Amanda Peet as Paris and Ray Liotta as the policeman. Wish it were a proper murder mystery instead of trying to be so clever and ending up with a hollow shell.


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