Doppelgangers traverse the cinematic landscape of director Raul Ruiz' fractured foray into the cinematic mainstream. Shattered Image sees a lethal and enigmatic Jesse (Parillaud) murder a man in Seattle, only to have her wake up on route to Jamaica with her new husband Brian (Baldwin). This vacationing Jesse is suspicious, nervous, and scared that her hubby may try to kill her for the inheritance — a far cry from her murderous alter-ego. The film shifts between Jesse's schismatic lives, skillfully allowing the pairs and similarities in each realm to proliferate. The film's title suggests that an easy resolution between these two worlds of Jesse may not be possible. Parallel lives, dreams-within-a-dream, and the psychologically inexplicable are standard surrealist fare, so it comes as no surprise that this work of Chilean/Parisian filmmaker holds hints of Luis Buñuel, not to mention Alfred Hitchcock. Shattered Image has no outstanding performances or character chemistry, and the script and acting range from tepid to decent. The real strength of Ruiz' work lies in his manipulation of form. This longtime experimental filmmaker cracks open convention with his jagged yet artful juxtaposition of two uncanny lives.
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