THE ID

PrintE-mail Written by James Evans

Meredith (Amanda Wyss) is a woman trapped between adolescence and adulthood. Her mother having long since run away, Meredith was left to cope with her domineering, demanding father (Patrick Peduto). Her room is full of the paraphernalia from childhood and unmet promises of high school, her daily life now the grind of caring for her ailing but still intimidating dad.  Ground to a nub by her father’s daily demolishing of whatever self-confidence she still possesses, Meredith is resigned to a miserable life of servitude.

Until that is, a glimmer of what could have been re-enters Meredith’s small world in the form of Ted, her high school sweetheart. He’s dropping by town on business and wants to catch up and she is yearning for rebellion, maybe a way out. Daddy dearest is having none of this and ensures his daughter knows it. Already fragile from years of emotional abuse and isolation, Meredith’s psyche begins to fracture, the line between what is real and what is not blurs and that edge she was already dangerously near to is now looming closer than ever.

In some ways, it’s a woman-on-the-edge thriller like so many before. Writer Sean H. Stewart and director Thommy Hutson have tried to take this in a more complex direction, however. Meredith’s life is a crappy one that’s for sure, one ruined by contradictory men, from those that promised escape and delivered none, to that most important man in her life, her father. He’s a wretched, grotesquely misogynistic misery, simultaneously wholly dependent on her but determined to take out his revenge on her for the woman Meredith represents, her mother.

Wyss is excellent in the lead. A mess of contradictions, strength, fragility, rage and sadness it’s a great, complex performance that anchors the film, particularly so as Meredith’s sanity unravels. Peduto’s wheezing foul-mouthed monster is an able support. A miserable ogre, the pleasure he takes in manipulating, belittling and brutalising his daughter is plausibly real.

It’s arguably a little too overwrought and the score sometimes lays it on too thick. As Meredith’s inner world dissolves into paranoid fantasy The Id does start to play too much with repetitive cinematic trickery to represent her loosening grip on reality and runs the danger of simply becoming annoying. That it doesn’t, and that this sad, grim drama remains compelling to its end is down to the work of Wyss, Peduto, Stewart, and Hutson. A balance is achieved, and though it teeters much like Meredith herself on the precipice, ultimately it’s successful. With great central performances and well made, it comes recommended.

THE ID / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: THOMMY HUTSON / SCREENPLAY: SEAN H. STEWART / STARRING: AMANDA WYSS, PATRICK PEDUTO, JAMYE GRANT, MALCOLM MATTHEWS / RELEASE DATE: TBC

 


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