Anamorph (2007) • USA

Some films are intentionally ambiguous leaving the final interpretation up to the viewer while others simply fail to tell a cohesive story causing the viewer to invent all kinds of theories about what the film was trying to say. Anamorph falls into the latter category.

This is one of those films where the death/crime scene is a work of morbid art, in the tradition of Se7en and Silence of the Lambs. The film looks good with its fiery cinematography. It's paced well and Willem Dafoe turns in a smoldering performance as the aging cop we're never clear on just how torn apart are his insides. And that's where this film fails. It's never clear about much of anything and tries to justify itself via the concept of the anamorph whose rendering "Depends on where you stand." Flashbacks and reflective turmoil are used to try and fill in the blanks as to why Dafoe's character is so intimately connected to the crimes. The film's denouement gives us a silly special effect suggesting multiple personalities may be involved. But maybe this and maybe that aren't good enough and I'm confident that at film's end you will scratch your head and say "Whaaaa"? It's also disappointing that, surprisingly, we weren't treated to any really good anamorph illusions. Given the title of the film, I'm just saying ....


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