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The Cell movie review

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The Cell

Jennifer Lopez plays as a child therapist involved in a breakthrough research program who is asked to journey inside the mind of a comatose serial killer in the hope of saving his latest victim.

Don't be mislead by the television advertisements into thinking that this film is a stately surreal carnival -- it is the sequences that you don't see in the ads that define the film. Dark, bizarre, and rife with blood and bondage, its Fuseli meets the Marquis de Sade on drugs.

In a film reminiscent of Dreamscape, Jennifer Lopez plays a sort of 'dreamnaut', travelling into another person's dreams to act as an in-brain therapist. It's a variation of lucid dreaming, where the therapist can participate in the dreams; and like Dreamscape where if you die in the dream, you die in life.

Movie Poster, The Cell, Festivale film reviews section
Movie Poster, The Cell
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The two films, like most science fiction, tell you more about the current society than the future and its technologies. In Dreamscape a loner psychic's telepathic abilities are enhanced by technology. In The Cell Lopez's child psychologist is (for some unnamed reason) the most effective user of a new high-tech system.

Both enter the dreams of a child, in Lopez's case, a comatose child whose distress was triggered by a traumatic experience. While Dreamscape was part of our nuclear-apocalypse cold war years, The Cell is the product of our millennium's end fear of the psycho sex killer. Our greatest threat is not from some over-zealous government official, but the product of a deranged sexually-obsessed parent. Here's the downside to treating reproduction as a right, not a privilege.

The Cell contrasts mundane life, a sterile high-tech prison and a sterile high-tech medical research facility against the surrealism of dreams. Lopez gets to wear her trademark translucent clothing in both, while single-handedly working to use up any overproduction of lip gloss. The famous clothes horse gets to wear everything from feathers to her grandmother's cushion cover.

The early television advertisements for The Cell made it look like a vodka commercial -- elegant and surreal. More recently the advertisements have given a better indication of this film -- that it is steeped in violence and sexual horrors and abusive behaviour. It's the kind of film that researchers are saying inspired violent people to more violence, and it is an exhausting film for the rest of us.

In this film, a torture chamber is light relief from the darkness of the killer's mind.

After a grueling night out, The Cell offers little pay-back for our attention. It brings no new insights, its characters have the standard cliche motivations, and the strongest response we have to the film is the belief that women are just not good enough at killing their attackers.

Movie still, Jennifer Lopez in The Cell, Festivale film reviews
I wonder if that was supposed to be the theme here?

Send your comments or review by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release November 16, 2000
For credits and official site details, see below
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Just the facts:

Title: The Cell (2000)
Written by: mark Protosevich
Directed by: Tarsem Singh
Produced by: Donna Langley, Carolyn Manetti, Mark Protosevich, Stephen J. Ross, Julio Caro, Eric McLeod
Edited by: Paul Rebell, Robert Duffy
Director of Photography: Paul Laufer
running time:

The Players:
Official website: www.cellmovie.com
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Filed: Oct-2000 : Last updated: 14-Nov-2000 : Last tested: 8-Jul-2014: Last Compiled: 08-Aug-2014
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