Published Mar 01, 2006There's nothing worse than when a movie pulls a switch midstream and becomes a different movie, especially when the new one is considerably worse than the one you thought you were watching. Such, unfortunately, is the way of Sean Garrity's Lucid.
The film starts off reasonably enough, with young psychologist Joel Rothman (Jonas Chernick) caught flagrante delicto with a woman not his wife then being assigned to lead a group therapy session with no-hopers Victor (Callum Keith Rennie), Chandra (Michelle Nolden) and Sophie (Lindy Booth).
Naturally, Joel seems crazier than his patients he can't sleep, he's seeing the same repeat images as his patients, and he can't seem to keep his disappointed daughter from sleepwalking into danger. And so Garrity sets up parameters that seem to be sailing towards a certain kind of conclusion as Joel's frantic attempts to keep his psychotic patients from doing terrible things are contrasted with his own behaviour, the parallel lines threaten to come together into a synthesis.
No such luck though. The director writes himself into such a corner that he can't resolve it logically, and resorts to a ludicrous Usual Suspects wrap-up that invalidates everything that came before. The worst part is, the lead-up to the letdown is not half bad; it's got better acting than most Canadian movies (especially from Rennie and Booth), it moves at a pretty speedy clip, and is completely unpretentious right up until the doltish ending fails to ignite.
But though the movie has a message about the importance of working through guilt, its deceptive and disingenuous deployment of that message doesn't exactly lend it much authority. (Mongrel Media)