Upon watching the trailer for The Drowning, I was pretty sure someone re-wrote Twisted. After watching the film, I can definitely say Twisted, at least the first half, blows this out of the water.
It has been 12 years since Danny Miller (Avan Jogia) went to prison for smothering an old woman. But now he is out and having a difficult time adjusting. After all, no one visited him in prison really. So without a mother and his dad being unsupportive, who can he turn to? Well, he decides to turn to Tom (Josh Charles). Someone who saves him from a possible suicide attempt and seems to soon come to regret it. If only because Danny tries to reenter his former therapist’s life uninvited.
Thus leading Tom to question his place in Danny’s sentencing and investigate Danny’s past. For while Danny is off-putting, we are also told he is brilliant. So maybe Tom was wrong? Maybe he should have been more of an advocate? Either way, Danny is making it difficult to be given the benefit of the doubt so Tom works at clearing his conscience.
There Is Flickers of Twisted’s Danny
Jogia’s performance as Danny Desai on Twisted, arguably remains his best role to date. For there was this quality to his acting. This inability to know if the killer he was perceived as, was who he was. Since, like with this movie, they played up on the idea of questioning if he was wrongly convicted or not. But while this film fails to capitalize on Jogia’s abilities, he brings some of his old Danny to the role. Using his brooding looks to seduce you. Doing little crazy things which make it clear he is off, but the film doesn’t allow you to question if he is psycho for long.
This film really doesn’t do its actors, or characters really, justice. For Jogia, you see that with especially, but Charles suffers too. Especially since the decisions written for his character are ridiculous. From not calling the cops on Danny, after he has clearly become a stalker, to his persona, it is hard to get into the character. I mean, from what it seems, Tom is supposed to be a child’s psychologist. If not, at the very least, someone who works for the courts to evaluate children. However, nothing about Charles seems approachable. Nothing about him screams “Open up to me.”
If anything, Tom looks like the type who funnels kids into prison for a kickback. The type who, knowing how a jury works, leads a kid to say incriminating things on camera. Which, I know, may make him seem interesting. Perhaps you may think, “There might be more to him than you think Amari…” No. Tom is a therapist who becomes a wannabe detective when all he had to do is call the cops. That’s it.
There was no need for him to dig in police records, interview people who worked with Danny, or anything like that. Never mind Angela (Tracie Thoms), who was side-eye worthy with how much she was protecting Danny. He should have straight up called the cops. Especially once Danny decided to interact with his wife and not listen to Tom saying to stay out of his house.
Lauren Is Not Only An Afterthought, But Someone You Are Given Little Reason To Invest In
Speaking of Tom’s wife, Lauren (Julia Stiles) is just a pawn in this movie. Stiles doesn’t bring a single thing to her which feels noteworthy. She is just Tom’s poor wife who gets neglected as he obsesses over Danny. The woman who wants a baby but, for reasons unknown, can’t seem to have one. She is Tom’s weakness that Danny can exploit to get under Tom’s skin. That’s it.
Not to imply she doesn’t have a life of her own, she is an artist with some notoriety. However, what little props the film gives her doesn’t craft someone you want to invest in. Stiles doesn’t portray her as someone you should give a damn about. She is just an ends to a means so that Danny has a way back into Tom’s life. Especially after he repeatedly tries to shut him out.
Overall: Negative (Skip It)
A disappointment. No matter how you look at it, this film is a disappointment. It doesn’t take advantage of Jogia who basically just played the same role a few years ago. Charles just seems to be reading his lines and really gives Jogia little to work with and Stiles? Well, she is pretty much collecting a paycheck.
Hence the Negative label for this film isn’t worth your time. It may bring a sense of nostalgia for Twisted fans, but it doesn’t capture Twisted’s Danny at all. It just gives you some pale imitation paired with actors and a story Jogia struggles to work with. Ultimately making you feel like you wasted your time and money, in the long run.