Mysterious Skin, drama, USA (2004)

mysterious_skin – the ambiguous title reveals little about this film. There’s nothing ambiguous about the story itself, though. I wasn’t expecting much, knowing virtually nothing about it, other than that it was supposed to be dealing with some difficult issues.

Difficult issues….

If a film boasts this, or if it claims to be a “provocative”, “shockingly revealing” or even “openly accurate” depiction of life, it gives me great pleasure to ignore it, relishing in the uplifting feeling of superiority over the “masses” that can be still so ridiculously naive about life that they need a film to slap them in the face, while the filmmakers make a neat commercial profit out of it.

Mysterious Skin is different.

Unassuming, engaging, disturbing exactly up to the extent in which it allows you to feel with the characters, their feelings and events as they remember them, or lived through them.

What happens and our recollections of it are never exactly the same.

Two boys. One can’t remember. The other can’t forget.

The tag line sums it up nicely, without revealing too much about the plot, which is exactly the best way of approaching this film. See it with an open mind. That’s how the truth catches up on us.

Superb story development, atmosphere lightly and effectively switching between realistic and surrealistic, objective and subjective, allowing deep emotional engagement, without losing the firm grounding of the story and still feeling light, nonjudgemental and warm.

The cast include young Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose uncanny resemblance to Heath Ledger made me wonder almost throughout the whole film if it really was or wasn’t him..

All the way through, an enriching, engaging, weightless drama.

10 out of 10.


let me know what you think ; )



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