Confusing, Brilliant, Disturbing, Engaging - and FUN!
G P Padillo | Portland, ME United States | 06/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Undermind is a find! Within 10 minutes of the movie I found myself alternately utterly confused and exhilarated wondering if I was smart enough to watch it. Working from his own brilliant script, first time director Nevil Dwek has created a world where parallel universes meet and violently collide. The tale revolves around young Derrick Hall, a corporate lawyer who is far too young to be this world weary and morose. A little understanding of Derrick's family history reveals a recently departed, highly successful father who had little time, patience or trust of his son and a pompous, dictatorial mother who acts as human choke collar, squelching both life and joy out of every earthly moment.
In the blink of an eye, Derrick's entire world is intercepted and exchanged with that of punky, greasy locked, Zane Waye - but he "knows" he's Derrick. Suddenly, nothing makes sense and the two men must search for ways to get back to their respective lives. Each is confronted with situations demanding resourcefulness as each is forced to think outside of his normal pattern. Zane's world is a troubling, dominated by his evil (and idiotic) brother, Ian. It's a world of violence, murder, suspect alliances, drug deals, stuttering porn wannabes, prostitutes and deception.
Along the way the difficult murder case of a well respected cop - who happens to be the Brothers Waye's father, is solved, Derrick and Zane find their ways home and the world is set right. The entire cast (even small supporting roles) shine throughout, but top nod easily goes to Sam Trammel who carries the movie as both Derrick and Zane, so convincingly I at times wondered if two different actors were playing the roles.
Director Dwek creates two distinct worlds for our central characters: Derrick's is warm, rich full of browns and velvety textured, while Zane's is stark, black and white with hints of tinting. Eventually (and inevitably) the worlds collide and combine into one.
With such a complex and confusing tale, a completely satisfying ending resolving all loose ends is nearly impossible and here is (for me) the only weak link in a movie without any others. I'm not, however, certain that a better ending could reasonably be achieved. I still give the movie 5 stars because despite the ending (which is fine - just not at the same level as what precedes it) as this is one of the smartest and most entertaining things I've seen in ages. I want to see lots more from Dwek and this cast!
Great Indie Flick!!!!!
G. Burman | New York, NY | 12/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm always looking for interesting, well made Indie films that challenge the mind. Well this is the best one of the year. Undermind is a extremely well made, edgy, and interesting film. It challenges all audiences and proves that there are great, exciting young filmakers around. I throughly recommend this film."
AG | Texas | 07/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While the basic concept for the movie is not in and of itself entirely unique, it is nevertheless an interesting film to watch. Without revealing too much, the basic plot is focused on two characters living in alternate universes (both played by Sam Trammell)- Derek, who is a yuppie, overpriveledged and underdisciplined lawyer, and Zane, a struggling musician with an pension for illegal activities who is working to shed that illicit aspect of his lifestyle. In ways that aren't ever really explained these two characters trade lives for a short while and each in their own way experience life through an entirely opposite set of viewpoints and perspectives.
Like I said, it is interesting to watch- the only negative for me really was wanting to know the whole film exactly what the 'trigger' was that flipped their lives (I suppose you can draw from the context that both characters, at the time of the initial flip, are hitting relatively low points in their lives- moments of ultimate indecision in situations requiring action that they are loathe to take.). Personally, aside from that, I really enjoyed the movie.
The DVD has minimal extras- one director's statement and some language options. Standard fare for the lesser-known, underappreciated films- which is a shame."