Sunday, May 23, 2010

'Dead Again': Mystery meets reincarnation

Dead Again (1991)
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Derek Jacobi, Andy Garcia and Robin Williams
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

A private detective (Branagh) trying to uncover the identity of a victim of amnesia (Thompson) discovers that she may be a reincarnated murder victim... and that someone is still stalking her.

"Dead Again" is a thriller with fantasy/horror overtones as it revolves around the notion that people are reincarnated to share life after life. It makes good use of the fantasy elements, weaving them into the mystery plot and using them as part misdirection and ultimately making them central to a couple of well-executed third-act twists.

While this a well-acted and often engrossing film with a well-written script, it drags a little during the flashbacks to the 1940s to the point where it might be tempting to turn it off. If you stick with it, your patience will be rewarded, although you will still wish they had trimmed a bit of those sections.

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