Possessor ★★★

Thematically ambitious and visually striking, Brandon Cronenberg sets up a provocative but unsatisfying output in Possessor. Set in the near-future, a woman is tasked to “implant” her own consciousness into the body of another person to carry out an assassination. As audacious as it sounds, Possessor has a lot of things in mind. The film raises a lot of ideas and questions for instance, about loss of identity, moral decay of the employee, the corporate politics, and the psychosexual nature of the job. These ideas are presented in such sophisticated manner, but unfortunately Cronenberg leaves them unexplored and underdeveloped. But what glue this puzzle altogether are the superb performances from the hugely missed Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Their humane interpretations of the film’s abstract setting give way to a much clearer understanding of the picture.

Like his father, Mr. Cronenberg is hugely inspired from his dad’s distinct fascination with provocative sequences and body horror. But in Possessor, the aesthetic overtakes the substance. The provocation has no body. It has seen potential with great intentions, but it feels too constricted for its own good. Overall, there’s no denying of the talent done in this film. It’s brimming with enough intrigue, style and intensity and it’s something I haven’t seen before. Brandon Cronenberg’s talent is promising and his work in Possessor signals a budding career worth undertaking.

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