Possessor

Possessor ★½

Tas Vos (Andrea Riseborough) doesn't seem to be very good at her job in the way she inhabits somebody else's body and offers statements that reveals she doesn't know the answers to, or she fabricates some hoopla at a cocktail party to turn the persona into a public spectacle. Not so good at deflection, eh? At the job she's supposed to fill-in for spy surveillance, the supervising manager even says, "You're moving at a snail's pace. Focus!" The primary goal in becoming invisible within somebody else is for the sake of being an effective assassin, supposedly. Thus, turning the host body into the framed suspect. A competent government investigation unit should be able to unmask this sinister company, one operated by... Jennifer Jason Leigh? How eXistenTial of her, by the way.

Director Brandon Cronenberg, son of famed David Cronenberg, whips up all the weirdo visuals competently -- it's a baked Earth with red Mars colors and neo-noir blues. Brandon is a visual idea junkie, but he doesn't seem to be a very good or competent storyteller. Not once is it explained, in any sense of the film's "reality," why everybody is such an emotionless drone. Usually I love films about spiritually dead populations, but it isn't earned here.

When somebody gets shot in the back and has a few last breaths left, the victim doesn't even have anything human to say about it. How about some shock that a person you know has decided to kill you?

At the end there is an arrangement of bodies adjacent to each other spread out on the floor with pools of blood merging, and it's terrific mise-en-scéne. Impressive. Other than that, I didn't care who was in whose body at that point.

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