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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.23%
Worth A Look: 6.45%
Pretty Bad: 12.9%
Total Crap: 29.03%

2 reviews, 19 user ratings

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Trauma (2005)
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by Scott Weinberg

"Ah, the double-edged sword of High Expectations"
3 stars

Whenever a festival that I'm fortunate enough to attend announces its full lineup, I immediately descend; a ravenous buzzard looking for horror-type movies. I love movies of any shape, size or genre, but the Horror is what I was raised on. Anyway, I came across "Trauma". Hey, that sounds potentially...traumatic! And look! It's directed by Marc Evans, he of the criminally underrated "My Little Eye"! Basically, 'Trauma' was at the top of my Must See list for much of the fest...and guess what? The flick kinda stinks!

Ben (Colin Firth) finds himself with fractured memories and a malleable sense of self after awakening from a coma. The coma was caused by a vicious car accident, one that's claimed the life of Ben's wife.

That's basically all we know for a fact, because A) Trauma sure does take its sweet old time delivering stuff like character development and plot progressions. Ben's bruised, he's bummed out, he's tenuously trying to piece his life back together. But we all know that's just not gonna happen. But did it not have to happen this s-l-o-w-l-y?

Ben gets a new place. Ben likes his ant farm. He has a pretty blonde neighbor, a creepy caretaker and an officious therapist. A pal gives Ben a job painting houses, if only to give the languid conversations about "self" a few new settings in which to take place.

Trauma is a movie that you'll want to throttle after thirty minutes as you spit the following from between your gritted teeth:


By the time the narrative starts heading somewhere remotely interesting (i.e. a murder or a revelation or just SOMEthing), you may be too groggy to notice and you'll absolutely be way beyond past caring. In order for such a fragmented and circuitous tale to be compelling, you'd need some personable characters or a 'hook' that's particularly exciting. Such is not the case here.

For her part, Mena Suvari plays the pretty young lady / possible love interest / potential murder victim who curiously befriends Ben. About Suvari, two things are certain: she has a face like an angel with huge blue eyes that are nearly hypnotic to behold -and- she's just about the least convincing actress I've ever seen. Her performance implies a director who told her to "pretend like you've just smelled something bad...and hold that expression for the entire shoot."

Colin Firth, the ever-watchable and workmanlike performer, does the best with what he's given (which is lots of flashbacks, wide-eyed staring, sequences of sweaty angst, etc.) but there's barely enough meat here to support a whole movie, let alone a standout acting performance.

For his part, Evans shows a few exciting signs of life - at least as far as the "visual end" is concerned. Feed this guy some less yap-laden screenplays and I bet he could make his mark in Hollywood before too long. Then again, Hollywood is where Adam Shankman and Brett Ratner are considered royalty, so perhaps Mr. Evans is better off where he is now. Trauma did next to nothing for me, but I still think this director's one to keep an eye on.

'Trauma' is not exactly a 'poor' or 'inept' piece of moviemaking, but if this movie had a must have petered out within the first 15 minutes.

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originally posted: 02/03/04 15:53:11
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/02/12 Countess in a box This pc is pure crap. Thank s Mr. Firth, you've done it again. 1 stars
8/24/11 BuffyTheSlayr Well better than average for Netflix 3 stars
9/27/10 Carol Miles Don't feel sorry for Firth, he does it to himself. Mr. Darcy gets repulsive. 1 stars
7/29/10 dr.e.roberts worst film ever-feel sorry for Firth 1 stars
5/16/10 Carol Once again Colin Firth insults his fans, that is if he has any. 1 stars
1/08/10 lisa brady smug, pompous, self important crap. 1 stars
8/19/06 matt like reading shredded mail 1 stars
12/22/05 ghandi did anyone get this crap 1 stars
9/01/05 Indrid Cold A lot of interesting ideas, but way too slow and hard to follow. 2 stars
8/31/05 Ingrid Gooey twaddle 1 stars
8/24/05 Edge Excellent film, keeps you guessing untill the end, brilliantly played by Colin Firth. 4 stars
7/19/05 stuart horrible 2 stars
7/09/05 John F Confusing, went nowhere!!! 2 stars
6/15/05 Ron Burton lousy flick 2 stars
3/19/05 Matt What a load of mindless drivell !!!! 1 stars
3/16/05 zeljka what the ants are symbol for in this movie? 4 stars
9/21/04 Patricia Frutos A lot of potential but never materialized. 3 stars
8/28/04 Amelie Brilliant film! 5 stars
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  N/A (R)
  DVD: 14-Jun-2005



Directed by
  Marc Evans

Written by
  Richard Smith

  Colin Firth
  Mena Suvari
  Brenda Fricker
  Naomie Harris
  Tommy Flanagan
  Sean Harris

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