Dead Ringers

Dead Ringers

DVD - 2005
Average Rating:
5
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In portrayals that won the New York Film Critics Best Actor Award, Jeremy Irons plays twin gynecologists whose emotional dependency collapses into mind games, madness, and murder.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, 2005.
ISBN: 9780790762159
0790762153
Branch Call Number: DEA
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (115 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
Alternative Title: David Cronenberg's Dead ringers

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c
ClarkHarveyRoth
Aug 03, 2016

That's right, America, it's time for a summer Cronenberg retrospective, beginning with one of his earlier examples of twisted genius. I say earlier, but at this point he'd been making films for about 20 years, & much of the goo & gore has been replaced by a more finessed, literary horror (although the dream sequence & the ending will give you a jolt of his signature bodily gross-out abilities). Themes of perceptual distortion, collapse of empire, erotic angst & rapture, against a persistently thrilling backdrop of medical phantasmagoria...Jeremy Irons drops the atom bomb on his role playing both twins, & his co-star Bujold never flinches. As in other Cronenberg films, part of the horror is helplessly watching a loved one spiral into a surreal & lethal & irreversible fate. Brilliant film, total classic, better now than when I watched it those two or three dozen times in high school (I know!?). Five mutant female stars, people. CR

C20T11 Aug 15, 2015

Interesting & Bizarre movie.
Those Canadians make some really Weird S#%T.

Monuu Apr 10, 2014

The acting in this film was great. But the film itself was dull at times and I felt it lacked background information on the twins for the audience to know why they act the way they do or make the decisions they made. It is definitely a bit strange but that's what it's suppose to be. I think it could have been better

t
texasbooks
Nov 04, 2013

I saw this movie at the theatre years ago. Its a bit strange for my taste but interesting for sure. Its a movie you cant quit watching even tho at times you want to. Some people would probably like it more than I did. Its not my cup of tea in a movie.

a
alpaca85
Nov 02, 2013

David Cronenberg has always been on the edge of being one of my favourite directors. After Videodrome and Eastern Promises, I looked for another of his films that could affect me in the same way. It's taken me a while, but I believe I have found it. Dead Ringers is a disturbing and chilling film, made in Cronenberg's trademark, cold style.
The film begins in the 1950's and traces the story of the Mantle twins, two brothers who are opposite personalities and start their own gynecology practice. The brothers live together and frequently swap each other’s identities. When a famous actress begins to date one of the brothers, they often swap their names to be with her. When one of the brothers begins to fall for her, their unique relationship is threatened.
Apparently, this film was based on a true story, but in terms of story Cronenberg owns it. His unique approach to horror is a lot more toned down here than in a movie such as Videodrome or The Fly. While there is a scene where Genevieve Bujold starts to eat into Jeremy Irons's stomach, Dead Ringers doesn't host as much gore as other films by Cronenberg. But, other than Videodrome, it is his most disturbing.
The last half hour is when it gets really weird and the last shot is particularly unsettling. However, the film would not work without one thing; Jeremy Irons. In a dual role as both of the Mantle twins he gives a fantastic performance. Somehow, you know which character is which, based solely on Irons’ performance. In the role of Beverly Mantle, he manages to create a very nervous insular man, in contrast to the role of Elliot Mantle, whom he plays as a very confident, arrogant person.
Then, around the one hour mark, the two characters begin to overlap, and by the end they seem to have become one person entirely. The strength of this transformation rests solely on Irons’ shoulder, and he bears it all, giving a frightfully raw and intense performance. However, he is not alone. While she may not give as strong a performance as Irons, Genevieve Bujold does manage to excel in her role. She exudes a strong confidence that would easily explain why Mantle would fall for her. In a movie filled with a great performance, she delivers a good one as well.
There is something that is very strong upon thinking about Dead Ringers. Simply put, Jeremy Irons does not have a twin brother, so the shots in which both Mantle brothers are in the same frame must have been incredibly hard to accomplish, especially in the late 1980's. What is really miraculous about it is that you can't tell that there were any effects added to the movie. It just feels natural.
Other than the effects, the score by Howard Shore is also very effective. It's a very melodramatic piece, filled with vibrating strings and calming notes. What makes it great is that it absolutely contrasts what's happening on the screen, and makes it seem even more effectively chilling than it would have been without. The screenplay is effective and allows Cronenberg to build on his ideas. Also, the sets add a great atmosphere to the movie, especially the Mantle's apartment. And of course, it's great to see a movie set in Toronto, and it's always odd when I'm able to recognize places I've been in a movie.
Cronenberg is a master at a different sort of horror. His films are less horrific and more chilling. They do not shock as much as they disturb, and although he uses gore to great effect, he wisely chooses to tone it down here. Dead Ringers is not for everyone, but for those who "like" it you'll know what I mean when I say it's quite the experience.

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