Projections - Movie Reviews

Cleopatra's Second Husband Cleopatra's Second Husband

With a twisted plot reminiscent of the "Twilight Zone" or a Hitchcock thriller Cleopatra's Second Husband in the right hands would be intense, even spellbinding.  It seems that even though Jon Reiss wrote the script he could not effectively carry the plot to the screen as director.

At a point when we are ready to see Reiss use his background as a music video director to spark up and spice up the action, he chooses to move his characters and their actions at a very slow plodding pace.

Robert Marrs (Paul Hipp) and his wife Hallie (Bitty Schram) are working at having a child, with no success.  It is difficult to understand why they want to conceive a child when they appear to have a relationship made up of picking at each other at every turn.  They have not learned to bite their tongue to keep their relationship working.

When they decide to take a vacation trip they arrange for Zack Taylor (Boyd Kestner) and Sophie (Radha Mitchell) to live in their apartment.  That one event leads to dead fish, separation, multiple partner sex, depression, control and eventually restoration of Robert's status to better than what it was in the beginning.  That journey is mundane for the most part except for the most aggressive action which Robert takes to restore his life.

Radha Mitchell's Sophie is the most interesting character as she plays loose and free in the home that doesn't belong to her.  Hipp and Kestner appeared restricted and overly cautious particularly in situations which should cause anger and even violence between them.  Hipp's Robert is a passive character but he is also uninteresting to watch.  Only for a short time is there a gleam in his eye, and that comes after a long period of staying in bed and allowing his home to become trash laden.  We know from that gaze that he is ready for revenge and though the revenge is sadistic and powerful, we are not surprised or shocked.

The material is there, but director Jon Reiss should have used his experience in music videos to move more quickly, suddenly and surprisingly to keep our attention.

Cleopatra's Second Husband

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