Dead Ringers (1988)

Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988)

Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg has been one of the most surprising and interesting directors of his generation. At the beginning of his career he made horror oriented movies like Shivers, Rabid, and The Brood. In the 80's, he invented a genre: body-horror it locates human's monstrous enemy inside its own body' with films like Videodrome, Naked Lunch, and much further Dead Ringers. In the 21st century his cinema will be more around cultural issues and less about horror. But always in his own way.

At first I did not knew what to think about Dead Ringers. A film I've been craving to see for years, its character oriented plot got me off balance and the strong performance from Jeremy Irons just blew me away. It may not have been the first time the theme of the double has been used but I think here it has been pushed further by Cronenberg. The twins Mantle gynecologists are recognized in their discipline. They live together, they share everything and they always have been together. One can't live without the other. But when Beverly falls in love he also falls into drug abuse. On the other side Elliott, will do anything to help his brother because he is more than his brother, he's his other half. The alternate title of Dead Ringers is Alter ego and it explains its on the relationship of the twins. Together they make one complete and super-human being, but apart they can't be even one average human being. It's like if they are one person cut in half and one got some parts and the other the other parts (nervous system for example).

Besides thinking the theme couldn't be as interesting as it actually is the film is probably not Cronenberg's best film to date but still one of his strongest efforts. Personally, Videodrome is a favorite but I still think that A History of Violence is his best film to date. I'm looking forward to see his A Dangerous Method in 2011 and to catch up to all his films I haven't seen yet.

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