REVIEW: Self/less (2015)

Focus Features poster for Self/less

The following is a review of Self/less, a film by Tarsem Singh.

What if you could live forever? What if you weren’t chained to your body? – Self/less stars Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley, two great leading men. So this should absolutely be a fantastic film. Ultimately, though, Self/less isn’t worthy of the talented actors in the film.

In Self/less, Damian Hale (played by Ben Kingsley), a business tycoon, is dying of cancer. During his final days, Hale decides to take part in a procedure termed ‘shedding’, wherein one’s consciousness is transferred into another body, thus avoiding ultimate death. But after having been transferred into another body (and now being played by Ryan Reynolds), Hale starts to have hallucinations about another life.

Now, while I do stand by the point that this film is nothing more than mediocre, I will say that I actually liked it. Look, this film has a lot of flaws, but it is not without heart. One of the subplots in this film is the story of a man saying his final goodbyes, and getting to them in time. But I will say that the subplot is not properly weighted, due to the imbalance of the film.

And that’s the thing. This film feels like a mix of two different movies. One about the aforementioned subplot, and another centered around action and comedy. This is accentuated by the remarkably different performances given by Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds. Kingsley’s Hale and Reynolds’ Hale feel like completely different characters. This is partly due to the script, I presume, but probably also due to the direction – or rather, lack thereof – given to the film’s two leading men.

But that’s just one of the problems with this film. One of the more noticeable problems with the film itself is the editing. Time and time again, you’ll find yourself watching one scene, whilst another is playing simultaneously. And, at a core-level, I must admit that this film just feels really illogical and poorly written. A mediocre film – what a shame…

Final Score: 5.5 out of 10Self/less has heart, but ultimately is too poorly written and edited to be memorable.

I’m Jeffrey Rex

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