2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
Released in 2012, the British-American film is an anomaly in the conventional film repertoire. Director Bart Layton has created a project that is not quite a documentary, but not quite a game either. The denouement of the film "The Imposter" (eng. The Imposter) is known from the beginning, but the intrigue does not let go until the very final credits.
The truth is out there…
The narrative of the picture is based on the story of the French impostor-adventurer Frederic Bourdain, who in 1997 posed as an American teenager Nicholas Barkley, who disappeared in 1994 at the age of thirteen. In the picture, real characters harmoniously coexist with the actors playing them. Rating of the picture IMDb: 7.50, reviews of the film "The Pretender" received extremely laudatory. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The picture was recognized as the most fascinating and frightening film of 2012, prompting to realize what lies behind the hysterical tabloid headlines.
Retelling the plot of the film "The Pretender", you can not be afraidspoilers, since everything is already clear from the sub title, and what is not clear is explained in the first minutes of the timing by the main character. The Frenchman Frederic is used to wandering around European shelters, successfully pretending to be a teenager. For this "bad" habit, he became the object of the Interpol wanted list. One day, finding himself in a Spanish receiver, among minors, he decides on a colossal hoax.
Frederick decides to take a surprising chance by impersonating missing American teenager Nicholas Barkley. He saw a photo of a fair-haired, blue-eyed Texan on wanted ads, and the dream of well-being, family happiness of life in San Antonio in the south of Texas immediately loomed in front of the young man.
An entertaining fusion of documentary and feature films
Formally, the film The Impostor (2012) is really a documentary project, and very well built. The narrative is saturated with interviews that perfectly withstand the TV format. The director does not ignore the off-screen text, which creates the illusion of accuracy and reliable transparency. Here the main character explains in detail why he, who spoke English without a Texan accent of a swarthy brunette, was mistaken for a blond southerner. By the way, a simple list of tricks of a swindler can confuse the viewer.
Immediately, the inconsolable mother of a missing American teenager frankly wonders why she refused to take a DNA test that would definitely establish whether the guy who came from Spain is really her blood.
Here's somethingsuspicious sister Nika, who nevertheless warmly welcomed Frederick even after a warning conversation with the authorities. Gradually, almost a documentary about Frederic Bourdain turns into an adventurous psychological thriller.
To create suspense, the director of the film "The Pretender" alternates fragments of interviews with archival video recordings, clippings from the filming of a TV show and episodes played by actors. For Bart Layton, this format is not innovative; his filmography already includes the documentary series Misadventures Abroad, which tells how tourists end up in prisons abroad.
As if laughing, the director inserts episodes with cinematic police officers answering the phone, when the main character tells how he searched for the necessary information and called police participants throughout the United States. Critics in reviews of the film "The Pretender" emphasize that the drama of the narrative is pumped up by the musical accompaniment by Ann Nikitina and meaningful pauses.
Layton wisely stretches the timeline to a full meter, slowly bringing the viewers to each plot twist. The last thirty minutes are considered key in the story. A private investigator is not complete without espionage and murder. An FBI agent is trying to discover the logic and hidden intent in the actions of the heroes. The family is on the verge of hysteria. And only the key character, ignoring obvious problems with self-identification, understands exactly what he is doing and why. The story behind The Imposter (2012) withoutexaggeration worthy of the Coen brothers.
Almost immediately, the viewer begins to suspect that the real boy, most likely, died long ago. This is evidenced by statistics, the police sympathizing with the family are silent about this, but it seems that the relatives also know about it. Why then do they believe the impudent deceiver? Why do they not want to accept and advertise the truth, which has long been clear even to a private detective out of boredom who compares photos of auricles. The director does not answer this question.
The film, inflated by such regularly repeated questions, is deformed. At the beginning, pretending to be almost a horror, the tape takes on the scale of a damn serious thriller. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to unequivocally determine the genre of the film "The Pretender". To put it simply, it's like mixing Jaume Collet-Serra's Dark Child with Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train, and then diluting it with Ben Affleck's Goodbye Baby Goodbye.
The superiority of faith over reality
A person often believes only what he wants to believe, for example, ears, eyes, newspapers, television reports, other people's statements. This is why, according to reviewers of The Imposter, interviews and video documents in Bart Layton's work coexist so harmoniously with vividly staged reenactment scenes.
At some point, it starts to seem that this movie is also about the viewer's faith in the magic of the screen. And about the nature of this faith. cheeky transformation eventsrecreated with all sorts of genre clichés: a lone phone booth in the pouring rain; police lanterns cutting through the darkness of the night; a stranger hiding his face under a hood; hefty SUVs on a deserted highway, a wide hall of an American school; yellow school bus waiting for a late student. Everything is like in famous films.
A baseball-dressed actor portraying Frederick slowly enters the frame, immersing himself in a familiar cinematic reality that can easily deceive the viewer in the same way that he deceives his imaginary family. There is no truth, there is only faith.
Bart Layton's project has received universal acclaim from film critics around the world, with a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Film experts called the picture more creepy than "How I Was Friends on a Social Network" by the creative directorial tandem of G. Joost and E. Shulman, and many times more cinematic than the Oscar-winning "Man on a Rope" by James Marsh.
Reviewers tended to position the impeccably told unnerving story as the best documentary of 2012. Filmmakers were unanimous in their opinions and assessment of the picture. They emphasized that Layton's film is gripping, like a paragon thriller that makes you nervous.
Evidence that The Impostor (2012)'s positive reviews were justified can be found in the impressive list of awards the project has received.
Only in the year of the premiere, he wonthe main prize of the international festival in Miami, the nomination of the independent film festival "Sundance", the award of the Canadian International Documentary Film Festival. The film has passed the rigorous official selection of most international film festivals, including New Zealand, Sydney, San Sebastian and Edinburgh.
Layton's brainchild should also be considered a significant achievement with six British Independent Film Awards in nominations under the heading "best": directorial debut, film, director, technical achievement, editing and filmmaking achievement.
The film appeared in the extended list of contenders for the Oscar, but did not receive the coveted statuette. But out of two BAFTA nominations, he won in the Best Debut by a British Director, Screenwriter or Producer category.
Most of the leading artists of our time strongly recommend it for viewing.
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