Written by Jamie Paolinetti | Review by Moumita Deb
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]leep makes the silence and the terrible fear go by more quickly, helps pass the time since it’s impossible to kill it. Anne Frank
Jamie Paolinetti brews a strangely appealing composite movie that is mostly character-driven romance, spiced up with a timely scare-inducing moment of sheer horror. With the surrounding landscapes paving the way to a sinister setting, The Trickster offers a dream-like tonal and narrative unpredictability, interspersed with a few completely jarring horror-film moments that make for an experience that will haunt audiences for a long time to come.
Lucid dreaming merges the dreamer’s dream world with his waking one. But at what cost to the dreamer’s grasp on reality? Are we truly living in a multiverse with an infinite number of parallel universes? Dreams are some kind of doorways but could they be doorways to other dimensions? And, if you feel you must know, beware the TRICKSTER. Jake Landor will be thrust on the “Hero’s Journey” of his life as he attempts to help a beautiful, smart, kind woman, Liz, solve the mystery of what has happened to her mother and the entire town she lives in. If Jake and Liz can stand together against the dark forces which are present in every reality, they may just have a chance to find true love in the bargain.
Though frightening, the dream sequence is not filled with trippy visuals but with startling revelations about the self. This makes it an eerily compelling movie about lost souls in a lost place. Perhaps a lot of the most memorable dreams have probably been ghastly nightmares that have left us all terrified. The small desolate beach, with a community of real people living in an abandoned fairy tale with little to do besides stare into its haunting horizon, brings to mind the remnants of a vacation resort in a post-apocalyptic world.
With its final imaginary bit, Trickster erupts into an experimental treatise on the power of fantasizing as an expression of hope. It is a sharp and well-paced horror film with heavy overtones of grief, anguish, and horrors of the real world. It is an illusory excursion through the psychological intrigue of the human mind that is precise, tense, atmospheric and performed with great dramatic intensity.
With its colorful and evocative cinematography, this exciting film excels in merging suspense with supernatural situations. The screenplay manages to be intelligent, intriguing and thrilling. The film combines different kinds of fear – the fear of strangeness, of losing one’s way, of being devoured, of separation and the director has used incredibly effective cinematic processes to reflect these fears.
The drama happens in a town with an insidiously pessimistic ambience that adds to its melancholic mood and broods on a remote and fictional community in the southern United States, where the joy of life does seem to be receding. There is a recurrent keynote of elegiac sadness. Liz’s face eloquently conveys someone who is past hoping, past fearing, though not past caring. She is in her desolate way “the last rose of summer / left blooming alone / all her lovely companions / are faded and gone”.
Moumita is a Kolkata based independent filmmaker and film critic. She holds a post- graduation degree in English literature from Jadavpur University. Reading novels of a wide range of authors of all genres from classic to contemporary has always been Moumita’s passion and calling. She also takes a strong liking in playing the Spanish guitar & has participated in quite a few concerts. Moumita has done her certification course in Cinematography, Video Editing and Filmmaking.