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The fact that this entire film was shot using a mobile was what first
caught my attention, the film's premise (guy slowly losing his mind in
big empty house) reeled me in.
I wasn't sorry I took the trip.
Uneasy Lies the Mind, New Jersey dude Ricky Fosheim's second
full-length feature, offers enough in the way of heated couple
bickering, sly subtext, and double meanings to keep you involved way
more than you'd think you might be for a film with such an apparently
Peter (Jonas Fisch), a highly successful actor of perhaps dubious
merit, is visited for the weekend at his palatial ski vacation home in
the Rockies by his envious developmentally arrested best friend Jack
(Dillon Tucker) and his flirty wife Lauren (Michelle Nunes). Peter's
wife Julie (J'aime Spezzano who also wrote the script), recently
pregnant, seems completely content with her posh life and is savoring
her secure future, but you sense that Peter is anything but. As Jack's
antagonism toward Lauren, as well as his rampant boozing, escalates, so
do the tensions between the two couples, leading to badly veiled sexual
come-ons and resentments that combine to achieve a simmering messiness.
Comparing the dialog to Cassavetes is a bit of a reach, but it does
carry that free-form down-and-dirty vibe.
The film is shot from Peter's POV and as it progresses, it's obvious
his demons are coming fast and furious. Fosheim punctuates this with
many shots of dark syrupy blood (ala David Cronenberg in Rabid or The
Brood) seeping from all the worst places at all the wrong times. If the
film has a major failing, it's that it hits these high notes a bit
often and too strongly. Tucker's portrayal of Jack is also so strident
and juvenile that it distracts significantly from the group dynamic. At
one point, when blood begins to seep from his mouth, you almost hope
that he'll soon be off screen.
There is a reason for this, though, which you won't discover until the
end of the film, and a lot of Uneasy is like this. It's a highly
subjective ride of degenerative internal terror for Peter (and us) and
Fosheim and Spezzano don't let us out of this confining hell that
easily. What's really cool about this little flick is how it uses the
limitations of the iPhone to it's advantage, not detriment. Characters
often speak right into the camera and their dialog is often spliced and
interwoven, even between two couples in separate rooms.
How much is reality and how much is in Peter's deranged mind? You won't
know until the end, and maybe not even then if you don't watch closely
But Uneasy Lies the Mind is rich with delectable detail and puzzling
contradictions, making it one of the most innovative, bold films I've
seen all year, even if it's far from snagging anything but festival
audiences at this point.
Tags for Uneasy Lies the Mind (2014) Full Movie
, Isaac Nippert
, J'aime Spezzano
, Jonas Fisch
, Michelle Nunes
, Todd Stilwell
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