While Maslany’s charm will keep you interested in her as an actress, it doesn’t necessarily lead you to take note of her character or the movie she is in.
Characters & Storyline
5 years after his brother’s disappearance, Nick [note]Tom Cullen[/note] finds himself in a club wandering about, slightly socializing but seemingly just trying to drown out his thoughts with music and a woman’s attention. However, nothing can really cure the assumed loss of his brother. But then comes Emily [note]Tatiana Maslany[/note]. She is a rather strange girl, overtly happy and nearly always with a painted smile on her face. That is until the smile fades and so comes the warning she has rapid cycling bipolar 1. Something which, when she doesn’t take her meds, turns that happy go lucky persona into one which is manic and uncontrollable. Something Nick thinks he can handle and help with, as long as Emily works with him. But, with her barely having a handle on her meds and Nick’s presence like an extra pill throwing off her balance, it becomes unclear if the relationship can be sustained.
Maslany’s Charm and Chemistry with Cullen
The saving grace of this movie is that Maslany exudes with a smile a calm and joy which, despite the film’s many problems, can draw you back in. This part of her charm, including her playfulness, and chemistry with Cullen, is what leads you to hope Nick and Emily can make it in the end. Even if it does often seem like they barely spend any time together for you to fall in love with them as Emily has fallen for Nick.
On The Fence
Handling of Bipolar Disorder
The whole aspect of Maslany’s character being bipolar comes with positive and negatives. The positive is that there does seem to be something authentic about her performance as she goes from a normal happy to a manic state. Also, while no personal experience to relate it to, you could imagine the difficulties of being with someone like Emily through Maslany’s performance.
However, with including Emily’s bipolar disorder comes the trouble of not making it some fun little quirk. Instead, it has to be treated as something manageable yet at times debilitating. Which if this movie was focused on Emily and her trying to have a normal relationship, this film would have been fine. Unfortunately, the movie is from Nick’s point of view and the movie has these frustrating and unnecessary time leaps which aren’t strongly utilized.
Nick as the Lead
Cullen, and in extension Nick, contributes little to nothing for this film. In fact, he puts a damper on things. First and foremost, there is the aforementioned time jump issue. The first jump, a five-year jump between Nick learning his brother disappeared and the present, doesn’t produce hardly a thing. For one, we didn’t really get to know Nick before the jump to see how much he changed as a person due to his brother disappearing. Much less, we don’t get to really understand how the disappearance affected his parents or the relationship he had with them. That whole subplot basically seemed like something so that Nick could have his own issues too. Making the fact it isn’t developed so frustrating.
But to make matters worse, Nick is cagey with both Emily as his girlfriend and us as an audience. The most you learn about Nick is that he has anger issues and gets lonely. Outside of that, he is so generic that you are almost surprised this character isn’t in some sort of Taken like film. For he fits the bill for what’d you expect from a generic action hero.
Overall: Negative (Skip It)
While Maslany remains charming, unfortunately, her film career remains that of which her starring in the production is not something to be excited about but more so worried. For while she still has this quality about her that makes her a notable actress, her role choices remain horrid when it is her face and name on the marketing material (Woman in Gold withstanding). I’d like to say it is because she keeps picking odd indie roles, but considering her claim to fame is Orphan Black, which is cult TV, I think a taste of a major role maybe all she needs.