Gothika


Directed by: Mathieu Kassovitz
Written by:Sebastian Gutierrez
Starring: Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr, Charles Dutton, John Carroll, Bernard Hill, Penelope Cruz
Released: April 29, 2004
Grade: C+

Miranda Grey (Berry) is an expert psychiatrist but her latest case has left her dumfounded.  For months, Chloe Sava (Cruz) has had continual hallucinations and now she’s claiming to have had visions of the devil.  Miranda tries to gain her trust but as Chloe accurately phrases it “how can you trust someone when they think you’re crazy.”

After her Friday afternoon appointment with Chloe, Miranda heads home in a driving rainstorm.  Crossing an old bridge, she suddenly sees a girl standing in the middle of the road.  Miranda swerves to avoid her but crashes the car into a tree beside the road.  In a state of shock, Miranda notices the girl is still standing aimlessly in the middle of the road.  She approaches her to see if she’s ok.

This is the last thing Miranda can remember.  Three days have now passed and she finds herself in a locked cell within the same mental hospital at which she works.  Her friend and co-worker Pete Graham (Downey Jr) has been assigned to Miranda’s case and comes to speak with her.  Miranda wants to know how she got there and Pete informs her with the news that she killed her husband in cold blood.

Miranda can’t believe it and wants answers.  Was it this girl she saw who did it?  Her mind is a mess and she is having visions and hallucinations of her own.  She’s not sure who to believe, who to trust, and whether she has become crazy herself.

Gothika feels like it has been stretched out to make it last the standard 90 minutes.  After the first 45 minutes, I knew what the mystery was and became impatient waiting for it all to resolve itself.  There’s an expected twist which didn’t do a lot to satisfy me either.  All a bit far fetched as are the reactions from some people.  A comment I make about so many thrillers is that the story seems incorrectly based around the conclusion rather than vice versa.  This annoys me.

Frankly, I’m glad this film has finally come and gone.  It was supposed to be released in Australia last December and then in mid March.  Both times the release date was changed.  As a result, I’ve seen the trailer far too many times and can now rest a little easier knowing I don’t have to see it again.  I probably won’t see the actual film again either.