JC: “Apart” (at IIFF)

Posted: July 20, 2011 in In Theatres, J.C. Personal, On DVD, Reviews

What would you do if the only person in the world that understands you is the one person you should not be around? Would you take that chance? How would that affect your life and future relationships? I saw a film that addresses those issues but was not a romantic comedy.

On Tuesday evening, I had the chance to see a film called Apart. The film is the tale of two young people linked by a very rare psychological condition called ICD-10 F24 which is part of the larger psychoses grouping of conditions, this condition can also be referred to as Shared psychotic disorder. This is a disorder in which two people share delusions and is mostly seen in people with very close emotional ties. This is all of the information you need on the condition itself, except to say that the delusions usually stop when the two are Apart.

The film begins after an accident has left Noah Greene, played by Josh Danziger, in a coma for an unspecified period. Josh has to learn to use all of his muscles again as he was comatose long enough for them to atrophy. During Noah’s physical rehabilitation, he undergoes a psychological rehabilitation in attempts to restore his lost memories. Bruce McGill, best known to me from MacGyver, plays Noah’s doctor.

Meanwhile, we follow Emily Gates, played by the lovely Olesya Rulin from the High School Musical films, who is very closed off. She is encouraged by her doctor, played by Joey Lauren Adams, to make sure she takes her pills. From what we see of Emily at the beginning of the film, she is quite lonely, but it is by her own design.

As Noah’s memories begin to come back, he becomes obsessed with finding out what happened the night of the mysterious fire. His brother, Oliver, is intent on Noah staying away from their former town and tried to keep Noah focused on moving on. When Noah finds pictures of Emily, he knows she is important to him and is set on finding her, if even just to talk.

I don’t want to go into the details of this one. It’s definitely worth a watch. The film draws the viewer in and makes me want to see more from both the two leads as well as the writer/director. The film had a tone that I equated to Donnie Darko, although when asked, director Aaron Rottinghaus said that he was not directly inspired by Richard Kelly. He did say that he was inspired by Christopher Nolan and Stephen Soderbergh. I could definitely see a little Memento influence as well as a few shots that reminded me of Traffic.

I would be doing this film a disservice not to go into a bit more detail about the leads. Josh Danziger shows us the anger of not being able to remember in a way that makes you feel for Noah, even when during times when you think he may have done some horrible things. Olesya Rulin has large eyes that exude the pain of Emily. Every time she is shown in close-up and she is portraying the pain inside (which is a large portion of the film) it is heart breaking.

This is the type of film that brings me to festivals, the type of film that I can talk about at length with others who have seen it and the type of film that makes me want to do what I can do so that others will see it. Do yourself a favor and catch the screening on Sunday July 24th at 2:30 at the Indy Film Fest.

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