SIFF Film Highlights: ‘Identical’ - October 17, 2011

" 'Identical' is an extremely well-produced psychological thriller about a pair of identical twins..."

In the days leading to the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (Oct. 19-23), festival co-founder and guest blogger David Moore offers observation and insight into some of his favorite films.

“Identical” is an extremely well-produced psychological thriller about a pair of Identical twins who could not be more diametrically opposed in personality, yet are forced to interact despite theijr open distaste for one another. Haunted by the untimely and possibly unnatural death of their mother, the dynamic relationship between the two brothers has been strained since childhood and begins to breed an increasing amount of tension as their lives become more intertwined by circumstance, necessity and women, culminating in a dramatic climax that I never saw coming. I watched over 450 films last year alone, but some of you out there are doubtlessly more astute than myself and may have it figured out by the second act.

"Identical" is the freshman feature film of co-directors Daniel Bollag & Seo Mutarevic. Bollag also wrote the script and I must say I, was surprised to discover that this film was his feature debut. The production value is excellent. It could go without saying that playing twins is a challenge for any actor and my hats off to the male lead, Aaron Refvem, who plays both parts masterfully and with great intensity, switching seamlessly between the one cynical, womanizing, blatantly self-interested brother and his Mr. Nice Guy, good Samaritan counterpart.

This film was submitted, passed the screening committee and was accepted quite early in the season. When I screened it, I immediately realized that if "Identical" were any harbinger of things to come, we were going to receive some really amazing features for 2011, and we did. I had no reservations about making it an official selection by the time the closing credits began to run. It's an absolutely excellent production of an original script. I had a hard time finding any flaws in any aspect of this film, from writing to casting to post-production.