Directed by: Dave Ash
Written by: Dave Ash
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This is the kind of movie you don't want to analyze until you've seen it at least twice. After round number one, I found myself gently skimming through a second time. I thought I knew what had happened, but was bothered by the idea that certain things may not have happened the way I thought they did. Presently, I think I understand it. Then again, maybe not. Certainly it has it's moments as it pushes forward, and there is a definite chemistry between Bethany Ford and Clarence Wethern's characters, as they awkwardly play off of each other. Awkward in a good way, or maybe standoffish would explain the characters and situation better. I just can't help but maintain that this really is a confusing film. Confusing and slightly long winded.
"Twin Cities" requires the viewers to do some heavy lifting. I'm more than certain of that. It's one of those films that make you think you're moving nicely up the story ladder, but when you reach the top floor, you realize you're still on the main landing.
Wethern stars as John, a computer programmer who happens to be on sabbatical from work. Married to an author struggling with her latest work, Ford nicely manages to play the stressed out wife, who also happens to be pregnant. The two float around each other in a state of utter dismay as we, the viewers are led to believe that a breakup is forthcoming. And yes. John himself appears more than a little conceded, adding to his general mental frailty and allowing us, the viewers to empathize with his wife. During the film John finds out he has cancer, prompting him to change his ways and be present in the lives of those he loves. Thus begins a "live life to the fullest" kind of film. Shortly after however, John finds out his diagnosis was flawed. He is in perfect physical health! Notice I didn't say mental health? It's at this point the film begins unveiling it's surprises. Big ones.
You see: "Twin Cities" plays as if it's about "John's" life and choices. It then reveals a totally different orientation. There is an explanation. The problem is that the explanation itself is a little cloudy. This really is a confusing movie.
The problem for me stems from the vague final act of the film. After the twist, we're led to believe one thing, regarding the wife. However, there are plenty of implications that even this reality is not the correct assumption. A triple threat so it would seem. Or maybe not? This final adventure of the film is simply and utterly confusing. My rating for "Twin Cities" is based mainly on the first and second acts, leaving the final one for it's viewers to try and piece together. Is Emily's character, after the story shift, the real one? Due to the way the final act is sewn together, it's really hard to figure out. This is a confusing film. There. I said it again.
Plot aside, "Twin Cities" looks like anything you'll find playing on your television. Save any film with Michael Bay's name attached, or a blockbuster budget. The talented cast moves the story along in a believable way and the crew behind the lens do their jobs nicely. The production is all roses up until it's not. Realistically, I think director / writer Dave Ash simply bit off a little much but overall, this is still head over heels better than many indie films I've watched this year.
Within my opening I wrote "Twin Cities" requires a lot of heavy lifting from it's viewers. If they don't mind doing the work there's a lot to enjoy here. "Twin Cities" has some smart dialog, some good acting and a polished look to it. All winning traits to carry around. The intentional curve-ball thrown into the script was a great idea. It's the possibility that that curve ball itself, curves around again, that make this film a gamble. Or maybe it didn't. Maybe I read into this more than I should have. It's really hard to tell. When it's all said and done I realize Dave Ash has tried something new. For that fresh mind I'm grateful. Maybe I just didn't fully get it. Maybe that was the point. The simple fact is that I tried to fully comprehend what was happening. If this were not a decent film, I wouldn't have bothered. Take that as you will.