Got The Truth
Red Lights belong to one of those rare films I had known little about, and it delivered way past expectations, especially so when I thought I had it all figured out, only to be sucker punched by the final 10 minutes of the story. Written and directed by Rodrigo Cortés who had made one of my favourite films in 2010 in Buried, where he had shown the world how to make a one-scene-one-actor feature film entirely gripping, here he once again demonsrates his ability to craft a strong narrative film that is a little bit reminiscent of the old X-Files television series, dabbling with both sides of the argument for, and against, the paranormal and psychic ability.
And what better way to do so than to have a wonderful ensemble flesh his characters to life, with the likes of Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy playing a pair of mentor-protege physicist professors who are out to bust the chops of fake psychics who prey on the weak willed, utilizing their knowledge of science to pull wool over the eyes of many, and to make money in the process. Their Margaret Matheson and Tom Buckley respectively are constantly challenged by the naysayers, and this film in a way played out like a theory-in-waiting to be rigourously tested out by hypotheses and various proofs and disproofs in the search of the truth.
In the other corner of their professional, expert advice which law enforcement also taps on, is the none too bright but better funded colleague of theirs, played by Toby Jones, and the main antagonist and challenge of the film, with Robert De Niro playing the father of all psychics, a blind man who has demonstrated tremendous, inexplicable abilities before disappearing when accused of being involved in the death of his harshest critic, only to resurface again for reasons unknown.
What made this film thoroughly engaging, are the arguments and various proofs presented to make or destroy the case of certain phenomena used by conmen in their modus operandi to have one believe in their abilities. However, one must note though that this is but a story, so don't go looking for the absolute truth in the film, since issues, just like how they are used by the various characters, are bent to present fact the way a point is to be brought across. It parallels real life where we often highlight points in our favour, and gloss over anything that doesn't quite agree with what we wish to express.
Still, it's edge-of-your-seat material, despite its dabbling with the unknown, or attempts to rationalize the paranormal, with an ending that brought everything to a full circle nicely, and one of the most satisfying in recent months. So much so I'm inclined to say it's highly recommended, and one of my favourite films of the year. I'm stoked to get my hands on the DVD once it's available.
You can read my review of Red Lights at movieXclusive.com by clicking on the logo below.