Last Moment of Clarity, 2021.
Written and Directed by Colin & James Krisel.
Starring Zach Avery, Samara Weaving, Brian Cox, Carly Chaikin, Udo Kier, Alex Fernandez, Pasha D. Lychnikoff and Hal Ozsan.
Three years after witnessing the murder of his fiancé, a man finds himself a fearful drifter, until one day at a Parisian cinema he sees an actress who looks a lot like his dead love, and eventually he finds the truth about his fiancé.
In Colin and James Krisel’s debut film Last Moment of Clarity, the pair try to emulate the Hitckcockian film noir feel that is both a mystery and psychological thriller. While the film doesn’t reach their ambitions, Last Moment of Clarity is still an entertaining enough film with a fairly good cast.
The film follows Sam (Zach Avery), a lonely drifter living in Paris after the tragic death of his fiancé Georgia (Samara Weaving). One day he goes to the theatre and sees an actress onscreen who looks exactly like Georgia. Flying to LA believing the actress to be his deceased fiancé, he tries tracking her down while his dark past comes back to haunt him.
Last Moment of Clarity carries several elements found in Hitchcock films with even some of the story seemingly inspired by Rear Window. Some people question Sam’s sanity and desperation while the story slowly peels back the central mystery of how he got to the place he is at the start, but the film doesn’t leave the audience with enough doubt regarding Sam’s state of mind to make it feel like he’s making things up to feed into his perspective. The Krisel brothers want him to come across as paranoid and delusional, even a little creepy with his obsession on this actress, but it never puts enough weight on the scales regarding how much we should believe in him. Instead, the film follows a pretty straight-forward narrative with a few predictable twists and turns. It tries to be more than it is, which is even funnily enough reflected in the film’s poster of the Eiffel Tower and Brian Cox being prominent despite Paris as the setting only in the first act and Cox having roughly five minutes of screentime in the whole film. Nevertheless, it is still an entertaining film due largely to the cast.
Avery makes a fairly good lead as Sam, conveying the character’s sense of paranoia and unease in most social settings. His chemistry with both Samara Weaving and Carly Chaikin is good, particularly with Chaikin as their characters share a similar outlook on life and have some nice exchanges with each other. Chaikin’s snark brings a bit of comic relief, balancing out Avery’s dour stubborness, but there is more to her character than just snarky banter too as she proves to be an interesting confidante for Sam, though the film also misses out on diving more into Kat as well despite teasing her mysterious background. Weaving does a nice job in her dual roles, showing a difference between the philosophically care-free Georgia and actress Laura. She plays the roles with a nice sense of mystery and is quite emotive when it is called for, especially in the film’s latter half. Of the main trio, Weaving is the strongest and makes you the most unsure which direction her character(s) will go.
The Krisel’s write interesting scenes with the characters containing snappy dialogue and some thought-provoking questions. They pace the film pretty solidly as well, though again the story hits predictable beats and the depth they hope for in both their characters and the tone of the genre is never fully reached. Last Moment of Clarity is entertaining and a bit fun thanks to the performances, but as a psychological mystery it doesn’t deliver the Hitchcockian tale the Krisel brothers hoped for.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Ricky Church – Follow me on Twitter for more movie news and nerd talk.