Complete Unknown (2016) – Review

Plot and Script

What if you could become a whole new person and often? Would you know who you are? Does our job define who we are? Or does one have to introspect often to figure out the reason fro their existence?

These are some questions Complete Unknown tries to answer. Alice played by Rachel Weisz enters into Tom’s (Michael Shannon) life by what seems like stalking but it is clarified that they were lovers – 15 years ago. Lovers who fell apart because Tom had a path in life to tread and Alice wanted no such thing.

Alice took off without telling a soul leading her parents and Tom to think she was dead. She underwent complete transformations to become different people in different countries – biologist, nurse, magician’s assistant and many more.

But the lack of permanency is what brings her back to Tom whose definition of static is what is driving a wedge in his life and between him and his wife. What happens when Tom and Alice meet at his birthday party surrounded by his friends who think Alice is an enigma? Do they buy her tales of taking off or think she is a pathological liar?

This is movie is a one-night tale and has a solid premise which unfortunately doesn’t hold until the end.

Characterization and Acting (C&A)

Acting by Weisz and Shannon was very strong – we see both their points of view of who they think they are and self-imposed limitations. There are cameos by Kathy Bates and Danny Glover who are great but I don’t know why they were important. Tom’s friends were ok too but didn’t really build into these characters. That’s one reason where it fell short in this department – I didn’t care enough for all the characters.

Sounds and Effects (S&E)

The background score was effective and the scenes which take you back to what Alice was at a given point in time were extremely ‘tidy’.

Cinematography and Visuals (C&V)

I think this was one of the stronger aspects of the film. The movie looks great and the visuals are awesome in most settings.

Direction  and Overall (D &O)

Amazon studios and Joshua Marston tried to make a great movie with an okay’ish script and that is what led this movie to not be great! There were many loopholes in the script and the story and characters never really develop fully.

So here are my scores:

Plot and Script (P&S)- 1.0

Characterization and Acting (C&A) – 1.5

Sounds and Effects (S&E) – 1.0

Cinematography and Visuals (C&V) – 1.5

Direction  and Overall (D &O) – 1.0

Overall Score – 6.0 out of 10

One time watch but forgettable.

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