8:00 PM, 24th February, 2010
From the start, this film bears a striking resemblance to Being John Malkovich and other scripts by Charlie Kaufmann (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Synecdoche, New York, Adaptation).
The movie is set in New York where Paul Giamatti, playing an actor named Paul Giamatti, is struggling to find his own spark. This situation hinders his attempt to effectively play his role in a performance of Chekov’s play, “Uncle Vanya”. He is finding life very difficult and depressing until he sees an advert for a temporary soul removal procedure that will alleviate his pain. He decides to undergo the procedure, with the intention to reclaim his soul after the final show. Things don’t play out the way he expected, however, when he finds out that his soul has been sold on the black market in Russia.
Cold Souls sounds – and is – ridiculous, but not in a bad way. First-time director Barthes does a terrific job sequencing and directing Giamatti’s flawless performance. Together, they create a film that walks the fine line between the credible and the utterly absurd. Its dark comedy and uniquely ironic perspective makes the film a highly engaging and funny movie-going experience.
Yes it is ultimately weird; but also a rare film that is so different, original and fun to watch that you simply can’t miss it.