Implanted: Film Review
A young man attempts to recover his lost memories and reassemble the pieces of his life in this atmospheric thriller.
Director/screenwriter Thomas Verrette deserves credit for the narrative and thematic ambitions of his debut feature about a young man who wakes up in a hospital bed after a mysterious operation that has apparently robbed him of his memory. Unfortunately, the film’s execution doesn’t live up to its provocative, Memento-like premise, with the result that Implanted too often has an amateurish feel that detracts from its ominous atmospherics.
Justin Leak (The Great Debaters) plays the central role of Ethan, who spends most of the film struggling to solve the mystery of what happened to him while assembling the memories that periodically come back in jumbled form. His family members, including his surgeon father (Rob Pralgo), attempt to help, but their motivations quickly prove suspect. Things become even murkier when he meets Camille (Elizabeth Keener), a beautiful young Frenchwoman with secrets of her own.
Although cinematographer Seth Iliff provides some imaginative visual depictions of the central character’s mentally disjointed state, their effectiveness is undercut by the prosaic dialogue and mostly ineffective performances that make the proceedings more trying than engrossing. The overbearing musical score, composed by the director, is no help.
Implanted has big things on its mind, using its sci-fi premise to explore the nature of how our assembled memories form the core of our identity. Too bad, then, that it ultimately proves so forgettable.
Production: Skylight Cinema
Cast: Justin Leak, Elizabeth Keener, Rob Pralgo, Jason Turner, Deborah Childs, Tara Jean Verrette
Director/screenwriter/composer: Thomas Verrette
Producers: Shaun Lynch, Katie Weiss, Thomas Verrette
Director of photography: Seth Iliff
Editors: Paul Gandersman, Thomas Verrette
Production designer: Amistad Harrington
Costume designer: Alyson Carrol
Not rated, 88 min.