Cathedrals will fall, the river will run red... and THE BIRD will be SLAUGHTERED!

REVIEW: BoXeD

– By MovieCritic NextDoor

Memory can play some pretty strange tricks sometimes. Usually memory is just annoying, when you forget where you put your keys or you blank on your phone number for a few seconds, but there are other times when it can be downright bizarre. BoXeD is definitely in the latter camp, because “bizarre” is the least you can say about the memories here, as displayed in flashbacks.

new-poster-2The memories mainly belong to Rachel (Jane Hamlet), who works organizing exhibitions and events for artists. It seems like it would be an interesting job, except it has to be much too stressful trying to stay trendy and generally keep up with the hipsters. Hipster probably isn’t even the right word anymore, that’s how behind I am on such things.

Work isn’t the only stress in Rachel’s life by a long shot, though. Her sister Hope (Hetty Bentley) is missing, and has been for some time. Her ex, Richard (Charles O’Neill) has reappeared in her life and is pestering her over an exhibition she’s organizing for his paintings. She probably should have referred him to someone else, but too late now. Richard’s shady friend Nicholas (Mark Cornwell) has returned as well, though Rachel refuses to have anything to do with him, for mysterious reasons.

But there’s a lot more mystery here than just the conflict between Rachel and Nicholas. For one thing, the police seem to have a different view of Hope’s disappearance than Rachel does. More alarmingly, there’s something… off about her memories. What really happened between her and Nicholas, or between her and Richard, for that matter? How was Hope involved in those relationships? Why is Richard insisting that he must add another painting to the exhibition at the last possible moment? Okay, that last one sounds like a scheme to annoy his ex, but it isn’t, or at least not entirely.

Despite still not being entirely sure about what happened, though, I enjoyed the movie. It’s both unsettling and fascinating to watch Rachel unravel as she slowly begins to sense that her world is falling apart. Even more frighteningly, she sometimes seems to accept this unraveling as the new normal, letting herself be swept up into uncertain memories that can’t stop going in circles. And it’s when she finally seems to think she has a way to break out of this cycle that things got most terribly wrong.

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It isn’t a film for the easily distracted since it’s about as non-linear as you can get, but it’s well worth a watch. There’s a dreamlike quality about it that’s intriguing, and while Jane Hamlet flies solo in many scenes and therefore has to carry much of the movie by herself she does a very good job of it, with solid support from Charles O’Neill as well as the excellent sinister presence of Mark Cornwell. Even reminiscing sometimes has its dangerous side.

 

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