Director: Jorge Dorado
Cast: Mark Strong, Taissa Farmiga, Brian Cox, Indira Varma, Noah Taylor, Clare Calbraith
RunTime: 1 hr 39 mins
Rating: PG13 (Brief Coarse Language and Disturbing Scenes)
Released By: Shaw
Opening Day: 8 May 2014
Synopsis: A hypnotic psychological thriller about a man with an extraordinary ability to enter people’s minds and manipulate their memory. When he takes on the case of a brilliant, troubled, teenager, he winds up in a dangerous game of seduction and betrayal that spirals out of control.
The first time someone spoke to me about Mindscape, I was told this is a psychological thriller similar to Inception.
It is easy to see why. They have similar premises (of entering people’s minds to find out secrets/the truth). In Mindscape, Mark Strong plays John, a memory detective who enters people’s minds to go through their memories and find out the truth and his latest case, is the 16 year old Anna who has gone on a hunger strike and is possibly a sociopath. However, Mindscape is definitely not an Inception rip-off.
Taissa Farmiga is convincing as a highly intelligent yet emotionally screwed-up and possibly dangerous 16 year old Anna around whom the plot is centred. Anna is a refreshingly assured teenager who reminds you repeatedly that she is also a vulnerable teenager without displaying any stereotypical weakness we see so often in teenage female leads *coughs Bella coughs*. Mark Strong also turns in an excellent performance as John, who takes it upon himself to protect Anna when she seems to have opened up to him.
What makes this a psychological thriller is Anna’s complexity. Is she a highly functioning sociopath who is manipulating him or is she really an abused victim who’s finally found someone who trusts her? Kudos to the scriptwriter for managing to plan the relationship development between John and Anna in a way that makes it plausible for John to put aside his skepticism and believe Anna despite the various signs that indicate Anna may be more than what she seems to be.
And thankfully, unlike Inception, Mindscape provides closure with an ending that closes the loop, leaving viewers satisfied with an answer about who Anna really is.
(A psychological thriller with an intriguing female lead, Mindscape is definitely worth watching - just don’t complain about how short it is)
Review by Katrina Tee