Review: Twisted (2004)

Directed by: Philip Kaufman | 97 minutes | drama, crime, thriller | Actors: Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson, Andy Garcia, David Strathairn, Russell Wong, Camryn Manheim, Mark Pellegrino, Titus Welliver, DW Moffett, Richard T. Jones, Leland Orser, James OIiver Bullock, Joe Duer, Jim Hechim

Films in which a female protagonist as a policewoman has to hold her own among her male colleagues have often been presented in various forms. Think of ‘Kiss the Girls’ (1997), ‘The Bone Collector’ (1999) or ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991). All thrillers, but this form is also popular as a comedy. ‘Miss Congeniality’ (2000) with Sandra Bullock, for example, plays in a humorous way with behavioral conventions between women and men. In ‘Twisted’ script writer Sarah Thorp has adopted the same principle. She places the tough Jessica Shepard (Ashley Judd) as the only female police officer among her envious male colleagues and then applies all the resulting conventions.

‘Twisted’ opens with a quick edit of environmental images in San Francisco’s harbor, The Golden City. This brings out the old-fashioned atmosphere of films from the early 90s. Birds, seals, a blue sky, treetops, but then suddenly a knife on someone’s throat

This mixture of lightheartedness and fear / tension creates the expectation that ‘Twisted’ might take a new direction. The thriller does indeed deviate from the beaten path, but not in a positive sense. In this standard whodunnit thriller, the discovery of one body is the start of a series of murders in quick succession. The question, however, is not so much whodunnit, but who could have made such an incredible mess out of this film?

The ‘Twisted’ team is a combination of people that we have all seen separately before. For example, Philip Kaufman has had a hand in many Oscar and other award-winning productions such as ‘The Right Stuff’ from 1983, the cult remake ‘Invasions of the Body Snatchers’ (1978) and the more recent ‘Quills’ (2000). He also heard a lot about himself as a writer in recent years. Kaufman is responsible, together with George Lucas, for two ‘Indiana Jones’ from the trilogy of the same name. Cinematographer Peter Deming (including ‘Mulholland Drive’ (2001) and ‘From Hell’ (2001) and Mark Isham, the music composer of ‘The Cooler’ (2003) and ‘Moonlight Mile’ (2002) have also made their mark in the film world. well deserved. But what this team is doing with ‘Twisted’ is unbelievable. The protagonists (Ashley Judd, Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia), despite the limitations, are still trying to make something of their characters, but things don’t go smoothly. The game is woody and the dialogues seem to be read directly from the autocue. Texts like I think I might be drinking to much for the alcoholic Jessica Shepard are like mustard after a meal at the end of the film.

After the first ten minutes, the entire story of protagonist Jessica Shepard has been put on the table, the viewer is informed about her deepest secrets (alcoholism and her one-night stands from the bar) and the relationships between the characters are clear. A slightly trained viewer now knows exactly what is to come. Protagonist is presented with a tricky case that affects both her business and private life, the viewer is put on the wrong track for an hour and when the climax finally comes in sight, it appears that at the beginning of the film you have already guessed. had how the plot was put together!

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