Still, we all kinda live with the nonsensical grand plans of films like Se7en because the dimly lit cinematography and the enjoyable actors compensate for that. It is after all just a film. Anamorph can be directly compared with that film with two unlikely partners paired to solve inspired killings in the dimmest of lights and with a rush to protect the innocents as the hunted turns the tables on the hunters. Like Se7en, the film is shot in a way to present itself as the director's own masterpiece of murder, and like Se7en we get great actors giving the project much needed critical weight.
I'm not a fan of the Fincher. I have always thought that Se7en was basically a fine piece of writing and cinematography where the ensemble acting made up for Brad Pitt's dreadful emoting and Fincher's ability to raise the prosaic and the offensive to the level of pseudo-profound. For me, the star was Andrew Kevin Walker's script which outperformed hoary old ideas such as the retiring detective paired with a young partner, and became a tale of how idealists are destroyed by the world. Anamorph's script was co-written by its director and it offers no such compensation for the viewer wishing for real depth.
Dafoe is, of course, always interesting. He makes his detective a sum of ticks and compulsions which hide vulnerabilities and addictions - a kind of intense humour-free riff on Monk. He is the only character really explored here and, when summed up, Dafoe's dectective is an obsessive with extreme eyebrows and furrowed frowns. The supporting cast chiefly exist to throw about some unconvincing doubt about the killer's identity and this wastes the wonderful Peter Stormare. The less said about Scott Speedman's performance as young cop with beard the better.
That the central idea of anamorphosis is an intriguing one to put into such a thriller I can't deny, and some of the final act, as this notion is explored, works well. Still the complete non-attempt to offer any motive or identity for Dafoe's quarry doesn't leave any way to look at this film in retrospect when surely the point of the title is that there should be at least two vistas offered. All that is presented as solution is the far from pretty images and a desire to punish. This leaves the film seeming somewhat facile rather than profoundly open to interpretation.
After watching Anamorph, I wish to announce that the serial killer movie passed away peacefully in its sleep. Efforts were made to revive it but highly experienced actors and skilled technicians were powerless to resuscitate it.
Transfer and SoundIt's pretty dark in here as the low light, high contrast look is wheeled out again to give mood. I guess that the shadows of the dark are not meant to be too subtle and the transfer is intentionally dim accordingly. The image is pleasing and not overprocessed with natural contours and a little in the way of grain. Colours are restrained and everything has a bluish hue, the overall look is sharp but with not a great deal of detail due largely to the low level of light.
Discs and Special FeaturesWell, there's a few trailers as the disc starts for Rec and The Children but that's it in terms of extras. The disc has a pretty perfunctory choice of scene select and setup options and this is a two layer disc encoded for region two.
SummaryThis is far from a bad film and the idea at its core will at least repay a rental if not an outright purchase. The US DVD is similarly bare bones so if you are a fan and don't own the film already I suppose this release is just as good an option.
6 out of 10
8 out of 10
7 out of 10
0 out of 10