review: brain on fire (2016)

SYNOPSIS (IMDB): A look at a young woman’s rapid descent into insanity.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9.6/10

ACTING: 9.7/10 *
CINEMATOGRAPHY: 8.5/10
NARRATIVE/SCREENPLAY: 10/10 **
SCORE: 9/10

REVIEW IN ONE SENTENCE: A genius adaptation from the book, playing out the story to the fullest without any gimmicks.

* I must say I was initially weary about the casting decision of Chloe Grace Moretz as heroine Susannah Cahalan. Moretz seemed too young for the role, and I couldn’t see her performing the range of emotion needed for this part. WOW was I wrong. This film definitely redefined my image of Moretz. She did brilliantly, and you can tell she was very intent on being accurate and true to the real Susannah Cahalan. She was able to show us her mind without speaking, and also didn’t overdo or under-perform anything. BRILLIANT.

** GREAT job by director Gerard Barrett. In the Q&A after this TIFF screening, he mentioned he just wanted to show the story without doing anything gimmicky, or trying any exceptionally “cool” camera/editing techniques. I’m so happy he decided to do this because this film was brilliant as the story carried itself. My friend and I literally hyperventilated all the way home after this screening – it was so intense.

PS. check out this image I snapped of director Gerard Barrett at the screening!

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