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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Icon Home Entertainment
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 15
Available 02 August 2010

Dr Cara Jessup (played by Julianne Moore) is a forensic psychologist who has just sent a man to the electric chair. His defence had been that he suffered from multiple personality disorder (MPD), but she disproved this in court. Her firm belief is that MPD does not exist. Shortly afterwards she is invited by her father, Dr Harding, (also a psychologist) to study a new subject - Adam. The more she uncovers about this mysterious young man, the more she is obliged to question her purely science-based beliefs. Adam's entire purpose appears to date back many years; he is both benign and dangerous, and Cara will need to look to faith more than science to keep him away from her daughter...

Whilst watching this film I was caught between thinking it brilliant and deciding that perhaps it was trying to be too clever. It certainly isn't in any way pretentious, so I finally came down closer to the former.

Shelter begins like a taught psychological thriller, before taking a slight detour into supernatural territory. It's quite an exciting and original idea. Adam's other identities are uncovered and revealed a little at a time, building up the suspense to a frantic and ultimately emotional conclusion. I'm reasonably certain that had there not been at least one other movie titled Legion, this one would have grasped gratefully at it with both hands, because that is essentially what Adam is. Only in this instance he is all of those people who have lost their faith in times of great turmoil.

Having one person play all of these identities could have been an embarrassing disaster, but Jonathan Rhys Meyers pulls it off with aplomb, making it seem very real and creepy in the interim. It's a psychologist's dream to note that during the disc's interview he can't stop subconsciously rubbing his neck! If you watch the film you'll realise the significance. The most identifiable and likeable character in the film is Cara's brother, who looks after her daughter when she is working. He is natural, and the few funny moments are generated through him, such as when he tells the little girl, "Next time you bring round the beers." An enjoyable surprise.

Extras include interviews with Moore, Meyers, and directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein, and a trailer.


Ty Power

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