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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Invisible

**½ The Invisible. Drama.

Directed by: David S. Goyer.

Starring: Justin Chatwin, Margarita Levieva, Marcia Gay Harden

We saw this at the Hercules, after being very intrigued by the previews. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the previews had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the movie. Okay, that's an exaggeration. The premise shown in the previews is what has nothing to do with the movie. "How do you solve a murder when the victim ... is YOU?" has nothing to do with the movie. There's no murder, there's no mystery. What there is, is a heavy-handed metaphor: kids feel invisible.

Nick Powell (Justin Chatwin) is a high school senior from a wealthy family. Oddly, he attends a public school, where he has a run-in with violent juvenile delinquent Annie Newton (
Margarita Levieva), but he's so very cool that he defuses the situation.

Meanwhile, his mom (Marcia Gay Harden) has been smothering and controlling since his father's death, and she's so mean she won't let him go to London for a writing workshop. Because, as everybody knows, London is the only place to learn to become a writer. And if he doesn't go, his life is over.

Then Annie's out with her boyfriend and robs a jewelry store window. Her boyfriend warns her she's out of control, but she doesn't listen, so he turns her into the cops. Except she decides it must have been Nick who did it. So she and her henchmen attack Nick and when it appears they've killed him, they dump him in a manhole in the woods (?), cover it up, and run off.

Nick then is literally invisible, and nobody can hear him except Annie, eventually, and he has to convince her to save him.

There are some pretty clever scenes when he first realizes he's invisible, first showing some action on his part and its consequences, then showing that nothing really happened. That was actually my favorite part of the movie.

Both of our boys (ages 12 and 17) went with us, and they both liked The Invisible much more than Carl and I did. Unsurprisingly--it's aimed at teenagers. And no, I didn't try to change their minds. We did, however, discuss the fact that Hollywood's version of high school doesn't bear a lot of resemblance to Curran's experiences.

I got the distinct feeling that the filmmakers changed the movie's focus halfway through--after they'd shot the trailers. It wasn't until halfway through the movie that it became clear that it wasn't a paranormal murder mystery, and the movie seemed a lot more forced after that point. The ending/rescue scene(s) dragged on and on, apparently to hammer home the point that Annie needed to redeem herself, apparently by revealing... her hair. (She wears a knit cap through most of the movie, and amazingly, when she removes it--pointing out that now she's good--she doesn't have hat hair, she has lovely, wavy, quite long hair.)

*sigh* Freshman film classes are going to love this one. All that wonderful symbolism, easily identified. They can write whole essays on the meaning of Annie's hair alone.


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