March 29, 2019 The False Mirror (Movie Review)
From the mind of Student Academy Award winner and David Lynch Masters In Film scholarship recipient, Johnny Coffeen (The Swan Girl 2016, The Circle Game 2017), comes the short film, The False Mirror.
Submitted to the film festival circuit in 2019, including Cannes, Austin Film Fest, Chicago, and three LA festivals, The False Mirror is a Dramatic Comedy starring Lou Taylor Pucci (Evil Dead 2013, You 2018) and Sarah Hagan (Freaks and Geeks 1999, Sun Choke 2015). The story follows two different men who happened to look alike who are also on the same psychedelic drug trip. With its entrance into the aforementioned film festivals, Coffeen’s hope is to garner enough support and funding for the short to create his debut feature film which would be a longer fleshed out version of the short.
Noah (Pucci) is a psychedelic drug counselor who prescribes different forms of street drugs to his patients depending on the problems they are having in their lives. He is an atheist and his belief is, “Your goal in life should be to enjoy it and help other people enjoy theirs.” He is doing a service that, though technically illegal, benefits those who seek him out for help. Julie (Hagan) is one of his patients. She is a devout Christian. Her husband (who looks exactly like Noah and also played by Pucci) is having impotence issues and she is out of ideas. Noah and his atypical methods are her last resort to try and save her marriage. She just wants to be able to have sex with her husband, as the Bible intended. Noah’s drugs are supposed to be their saving grace.
Noah’s supplier, Marvin (Joseph D. Reitman: The Perfect Storm 2000, Happy! 2017), introduces him to a new drug, called Medium, that is supposed to be able to bend time, past and future. Two completely opposite people looking for different outcomes are connected by the effects of one potent drug and physical mirror image. What could possibly go wrong?
At only 10 minutes in length, The False Mirror is short but packed full of intrigue and personality. It feels almost like a drug trip with the bright coloring surrounding Noah, the counselor. In contrast, when the story follows Julie and her husband the coloring changes to black and white. Their situation is much more dire and depressing. The color scheme flips so often and without warning it will force the viewer to question they, too, might have ingested something.
Hagan’s Julie is so devout in her beliefs she is almost hilariously neurotic. Most do not think of religious people to have such a high sex drive, much less be willing to go the illicit drug route to fix marital issues. Pucci navigates the stress free love, hippy like style of the psychedelic counselor with such ease that it is pleasurable to also see his duality as an uptight religious husband. The juxtaposition of varying characters is bizarre yet fully engaging.
The False Mirror is a psychedelic mind trip that will leave the viewer confused and wanting more. One viewing will not be enough. Curious to see the full-length idea fleshed out, Cryptic Rock gives The False Mirror 4 out of 5 stars.