Waking in a hospital bed ben learns that his wife was killed in the same car accident that put him in a coma for a week. His disorientation & feelings of guilt are amplified by the media frenzy gripping london following th... more »e murder of a pop star - a crime in which for some reasonhe seems implicated. Or is he? Studio: First Look Home Entertain Release Date: 09/02/2008 Starring: Colin Firth Mena Suvari Run time: 96 minutes Rating: R Director: Marc Evans« less
Sandra S. (ratracesandra) from CUMMING, GA Reviewed on 9/22/2008...
Dark, odd, & twisted.....Found this movie very hard to try and follow.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
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."
Yet Another Bad Career Choice for Colin Firth Whose Excellen
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 08/08/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Nothing is wrong with `Trauma' as far as the actors and technical aspects are concerned. Colin Firth shows compelling acting as the suffering protagonist who survived a car accident, and John Mathieson's noir-ish cinematography is simply riveting. Except that, however, `Trauma' is likely to leave most audiences only puzzled and unsatisfied after the end credits roll. As for the film itself, it goes on and on without giving me during its course any sense of mystery, drama, character study, or whatever that is worth spending my time.
Colin Firth plays Ben, who wakes up from a coma that lasted one week after his car crash that killed his wife Elisa (Naomie Harris, '28 Days Later'). In spite of the constant therapy and the presence of a lovely girl named Charlotte (Mena Suvari), Ben's mental condition gets worse and worse, and he begins to suspect that what he sees and remembers does not necessarily reflect the reality that everyone else shares. In addition to the premise that is no longer original, the film introduces a murder case of internationally famous actress (or singer ... sorry I forgot which) that does not convince me at all. And the most surprising thing is, Ben might be the prime suspect of the murder! But how? and why?
The script is laden with so many bits that do not simply gel - beside the things I pointed out above, Ben must meet a seer (played by Brenda Fricker) who says something very predictable, and his estranged sister who is just forgettable. There are also big red ants crawling all over, paintings that imply nothing special, and the CCTV surveillance images that only remind that the film is set in UK. All these gimmicks are used in the short films directed by film school students. The difference is, probably they know what they are doing better.
I simply detest the ending that only wants to be shocking (which it is not), and sincerely wish that Mena Suvari find a new agent who can help her out of the string of bad career choices that are getting more and more serious damages to her career these days."