Gemini (Aaron Katz, 2017): USA

Reviewed by Ish Malik at AFI Film Festival 2017, Los Angeles.

Gemini directed by Aaron Katz is a murder mystery of an iconic Hollywood figure. What makes this movie relatable is that it is LA based and as a California resident, I can completely imagine this happening because the lives of famous stars are just as dramatic as the movies that they are in. The major question that this movie follows is who killed Heather Anderson (Zoe Kravitz). The viewers sit in awe and try to figure out the murderer of this famous figure only to find out in the end that she isn’t dead. The movie raises questions about friendship, loyalty and trust. In addition to that, I believe it also puts more weight on the lives of stars and people who are recognized and honored than the lives of a normal every-day person.

The director achieves his motives through several different methods like using glamorous  colors, showing exciting parties, including the paperazi etc. but the way he captures this misc-en-scene is what makes this movie a thriller. The close up of the eyes to show emotions or over the shoulder shot for conversation adds to the cinematography of the film. There were moments of silence in the movie that also helped push for a certain type of feel. In addition to that, I think dialogue plays a very important role as well. The dialogue is very casual (just as it would be within friends) and even somewhat funny. The characters of Greg brings a comedic element to this suspense murder thriller. And as a viewer, I wish I saw more of him. Furthermore, Heather drags Jill under the bus in order to protect herself. This raises the question that regardless of how close you are to a person, would you cause them pain for your benefit? Or is it more of the typical narcissistic-star attitude? Was Heather truly a friend to Jill? In my opinion, loyalty, friendship and trust should come before anything else in life. And for Heather to do something like that to Jill is cheap and low. It devalues their friendship. At the end of the movie, it turns out that Heather was a killer of a superfan. She did so in what she thought was self defense. This goes on to prove that the lives to film stars is a lot more precious than the life of an average girl. Heather didn’t face any consequences of her actions and suddenly everything was ‘okay’ because it wasn’t Heather who was dead, it was a random, unimportant, ordinary girl. Does that make it okay for her to be killed?

Gemini raises some ethical life questions that need some consideration. Apart from that, I think its a wonderful, suspenseful thriller.

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