Dead Ringers (1988)
directed by David Cronenberg
I've watched this several times over the years since it came out on DVD but it still has the power to pull me right in, mainly due to the mesmerising seamless dual performance by Jeremy Irons. How he is able to draw some sympathy for these characters is in itself amazing because like many gifted highly skilled doctors of the medical profession there is a pompous arrogance that exudes from them throughout the film. They remain certain that all their problems stem from their patients, or girlfriend or those around them; never themselves. The infamous operating theatre scene where the 'mutant' instruments are laid out still produces a delicious shudder. It's ingenious because you aren't really seeing anything; your imagination fills in the gaps.
The end is always heart wrenching, notably the scene where the twins share a piece of cake for their birthday. When Elliot cries because there is no icecream, it leaves me in pieces.
This is a standout film and in many ways, a brave film because of its dark subject matter and unflinching handling of same. It's one of Cronenberg's best and I think Jeremy Iron's performance has rightly become one of the benchmarks for brilliant portrayal of twins onscreen.
The only downside to enjoying this film again is the poor quality of the Carlton DVD from its Silver Collection. It was so grainy I was reminded of VHS tape. I may have to invest in a Region 1 for this title, since my fascination with it is intact after a long time.
I remember seeing this many, many moons ago, far too young to perhaps understand it to a great degree. Visually I remember it vividly, and from your review K I will be hunting it down.
I would like to mention that in recent years Cronenberg has had something of a comeback with people saying how great he has "become". Based on your review I would say he has always been that way.
A pity they had to sanitise it for the American audience though. The novel is far grittier and to be honest, the incest is surely an integral part of the story. I know that Cronenberg alluded to it at times, but it didn't go anywhere near far enough.
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