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Posted October 1, 2010
A Film That Finds The Gaping Hole In Which Unbalanced People Live
Lodge H. Kerrigan is a force in film who demands our attention. The fact that Steven Soderbergh produced this small, low budget work should indicate the quality of endorsement a fine filmmaker has in a relatively unknown writer and director.Essentially a one-man drama, the 'story' is more an autopsy on the mind of a disturbed 36-year-old man William Keane (Damian Lewis) who lives in the streets and underground of New York, whispering to himself the data of a child snatching incident 'last September': we slowly get the idea that Keane's 7 year old daughter Sophie disappeared at station 8 at 4:30 PM. Keane lives his life searching for his daughter, watching, 'being watched', and in general appearing like a mentally challenged man on desperate treadmill. Keane lives in a rent by night hotel and at one point overhears a young woman Lynn (Amy Ryan) arguing with the deskman about her rent: she is accompanied by a seven year old child Kira (Abigail Breslin) and Keane follows them to their room and genuinely offers Lynn $200. 'to help them out'. Wary at first, Lynn accepts the money, eventually invites Keane to her apartment for shared take-out supper, and Keane warmly relates to both Lynn and Kira. At one point Lynn asks Keane to watch Kira for an afternoon and Keane and Kira enjoy each other's company in what results in an extended time due to Lynn's unexpected absence (she has been visiting her estranged husband arranging for them to reunite). Lynn finally returns and thanks Keane for his kindness and informs him that the two are departing the next day to re-join her husband. Keane asks for one last goodbye to Kira, a child he has grown love and who is the one who brings him as close to sanity as any person has been able. It is the manner in which Keane and Kira spend that last goodbye that forms the suspenseful ending to the film.Some reviewers feel that not much happens in this story and I suppose that linearly speaking, not much does. But the spectrum of intensely difficult psychological journey with which we accompany Keane is extraordinary. Damian Lewis carries this film with a breathlessly credible performance of a man lost in the no man's land of mental deterioration, drugs, and alcohol. Thankfully Kerrigan never force-feeds us Keane's background except for a brief moment in which Keane recounts the dates of his birth and sadly unremarkable events of his life. The rest is left to the viewer to mold from the pitiful fragments Keane dispenses through his actions and reactions. The supporting cast is strong and the technical aspects of the film are well captured. This film may be too tough for most viewers who expect more information in a story, but for those brave enough to enter the mind of a mentally disturbed man and view the world through his perceptions and fears and needs, so brilliantly enacted by Damian Lewis, this film will stay in memory. Grady HarpWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.