Friday, December 4, 2020

Elyse Review: A Strong Noir Style and Mysterious Story

Anthony Hopkins	...	Dr. Philip Lewis Donat Balaj	Donat Balaj	...	Jack Collins Lisa Pepper	Lisa Pepper	...	Elyse Bridges Aaron Tucker	Aaron Tucker	...	Steven Bridges Tara Arroyave	Tara Arroyave	...	Carmen Luna Fran Tucker	Fran Tucker	...	Goldie Madison Anthony Apel	Anthony Apel	...	David Gabriel Julieta Ortiz	Julieta Ortiz	...	Julia Luna Griffin Thomas Hollander	Griffin Thomas Hollander	...	Cody Bridges Danny Jacobs	Danny Jacobs	...	Dr. Rosenthal Everett Kelsey	Everett Kelsey	...	Michael Davis Connor Garelick	Connor Garelick	...	Jeff Bloom Natalia Tucker	Natalia Tucker	...	Female Patient Susan Papa	Susan Papa	...	Nurse Jen Brittani Ebert	Brittani Ebert	...	Nurse Stephanie

Release date: December 4, 2020
Running time: 95 minutes
Starring:  Anthony Hopkins, Aaron Tucker, Lisa Pepper 
Written and Directed By: Stella Hopkins

Memory and hallucination intertwine to expose a history of trauma in Elyse, a movie about a woman with a troubled past and the effect that has on her present.  And as her past is explored, the movie goes through a few different styles to tell her tale. 

The first thing you will notice about Elyse is that it is so visually striking.  The film starts off in a black and white style with red splashes, a very Noir setting with acting and overly dramatic dialogue to match.  It really grabs your attention early on and it made me excited to see what this film had to offer.  And the main draw of the film is the inclusion of Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Philip Lewis.  He is wonderful as always and definitely lifts the scenes that he is in .  And the film is led by Aaron Tucker and Lisa Pepper, an unhappy couple who go through many emotional scenes and shifts.  

Director: Stella Hopkins Writers: Stella Hopkins        Produced by  Bianca Arroyave	...	associate producer Tara Arroyave	...	producer Jennifer Anne Franklin	...	associate producer Anthony Hopkins	...	producer Stella Hopkins	...	producer Lisa Pepper	...	executive producer Stephanie Rennie	...	executive producer Aaron Tucker	...	producer
The story of Elyse is slowly revealed as the film progresses, and there are some immense reveals that give the audience more insight into this complicated character and her history of trauma.  The main reveal caught me completely off guard (I didn't watch the trailer or read a synopsis of the film beforehand) and was refreshing to see.  And further reveals throughout put more context into this mysterious story.  I would definitely recommend going into this movie blind as I think that there is much to be gained from experiencing the progressive insights.  It keeps you guessing and will make you much more engaged in the characters and the overall mysteries.

However, despite the striking style and interesting ideas, the film sometimes is tough to take seriously because of some overdramatic and stiff acting.  I think some of this was intentional to fit the Noir style, but sometimes it was outside of a Noir context.  And this leads to some of the more emotional scenes falling flat and some of the explanatory scenes just not feeling right.  This film is a cauldron of emotions and the conflicts form a major part of the overall movie, so having some of the interactions distract you hurts the overall enjoyment.  Additionally, I had trouble feeling sorry for Elyse despite all that she had gone through.  The reveals later help but she is still a tough character to have any sympathy for.  

Elyse has a strong style and the backing and acting chops of Anthony Hopkins, and it has several twists that will keep you guessing throughout this Noir mystery.

Rent it.

Noir mystery drama crime psychological thriller

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Elyse is available digitally and on demand December 4, 2020.

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