Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Mena Suvari, Colin Firth
Director: Marc Evans
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
When Ben (Colin Firth) awakes from a coma, he discovers his wife (Naomi Harris) has been killed in a car accident. Waking from a coma after a car crash, Ben learns that his wife was killed in the accident, and his world co... more »
Denial and Self Delusion
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 11/19/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ben has a car accident, and wakes up after 7 days in a coma believing his wife was killed in the crash, and his mental and emotional disturbance over her death is interwoven with the murder of a famous pop singer. The plot is a little muddled and one has to see this rather dull film twice to completely follow the thread of it. Staying awake the first time around can be a bit of a challenge, as "Trauma" is full of scenes of Ben as he meanders about in a delusional daze. Jobless and looking like a vagrant, he shuffles through his clippings of the pop star, and fiddles around with his ants and spiders. "Trauma" is not an easy film to watch, not because it is all that disturbing, but because it is boring. A recent film that can be compared to it is "The Machinist," which is far creepier and disquieting to view.
Colin Firth is excellent as the delusional Ben, as is Mena Suvari as Charlotte, the gentle, trusting soul that befriends him. Other good actors in the cast include Tommy Flanagan ("Braveheart") as Ben's buddy Tommy, and Brenda Fricker has a small part as a clairvoyant. Directed by Marc Evans, with some clever cinematography by John Mathiesen, no amount of spooky sounds in the soundtrack or mysterious elements can save this film and make it even mildly interesting. Recommended only for avid Firth fans, otherwise this one is a dud. No DVD extras are included other than Spanish subtitles, and total running time is 94 minutes.
Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome: The Movie
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 06/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"TRAUMA is one of those films that invokes mixed responses from audiences depending on their expectations: it seems to polarize people into love/hate categories. While not a great movie, TRAUMA has the courage to pose a storyline that is more involved with the interior aspects of a mind altered by physical events. We are asked to observe the world through the eyes of a battered brain which happens to belong to a man with a tattered past. If linear stories are preferred then this is not a film to recommend. For those viewers willing to crawl inside the malfunctioning mind, this film is mesmerizing and full of rewarding moments.
Ben (Colin Firth) is seen in the opening flashbacks driving a car at night with his wife Elisa (Naomie Harris). There is a car crash and Ben awakens from a coma in a hospital, convinced that Elisa is dead. He wanders the hospital, drawn to the morgue where the caretaker (Cornelius Booth) enhances the mystery of the place. Ben learns from the TV room that a famous singer Lauren Parris (Alison David), for whom Elisa has been a dancer, has been murdered. His mind disintegrates and everything that follows is a mélange of delusion mixed with bits of reality that exquisitely define how the post traumatic stress syndrome can be driven to psychosis if not recognized and treated.
Ben leaves the hospital (or does he?) and continues his art career in a vast building undergoing reconstruction (a building that has been a hospital....), befriended by his mate Roland (Sean Harris) and by his landlady 'Charlotte' (Mena Suvari). More flashbacks (mostly childhood memories) occur as Ben talks things out with a 'psychiatrist' (whose face we never see...) and during episodes with channeler Petra (Brenda Fricker) he is informed that Elisa is not dead. Ben becomes a suspect in the murder of Lauren Parris and his chasing after evidence ultimately leads to a series of disasters, a series of metaphors and delusions, all of which find Ben sitting back in the hospital where he started.
Did any of this story really happen, or was it the fabrication of a mind traumatized to the brink of breaking? That is left for the viewer to decide. Though plagued with some static moments and a lot of conversation buried in background music and sounds, Director Marc Evans with writer Richard Smith take us on a suspenseful journey, made all the more bizarre by some extraordinary camera work and tremendously inventive settings. Not a movie for everyone, but for those willing to enter the Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome mind, this case study is rewarding. Grady Harp, June 05"
Lauren L. Bocanegra | California, Bay Area | 09/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK... I'm a Colin Firth fan, straight up I'm letting y'all know that my opinion of this film may be a bit swayed by that fact, but the movie was awesome. It was excellent just because of the way it viewed Mr. Firth's character. Basically... ::SPOILERS:: POSSIBLY.... He thought he was insane, then discovered he wasn't insane, but because he originally thought he was insane he was slowly becoming insane even when he realized he really wasn't, and to stop from becoming insane he killed off the only thing he felt that was finally driving him to the edge, which turned out to be a real person, and that, in the end, really did drive him insane. *gasp* So amazing, I can't even begin to describe it. Go Mr. Firth!!!!!!"
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 08/20/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Other than Colin Firth's compelling performance, there is little else to recommend TRAUMA. A puzzling mind game passed off as "artistic film-making", the movie never rewards its audience with the payoff of what was real and what was Firth's fantasies. A movie that fails to accomplish a true resolution is merely an exercise in cinematic self-absorption, which is what TRAUMA achieves. Firth does a good job considering his role is so poorly conceived."