Everybody celebrates Valentines Day differently. It’s usually mushy movies, filled with a lot of touching, nuzzling, and petting. Possession is a movie that is far from it. Still, it serves a relationship that is dark, foreboding, and will make you question your relationship choices.
Jess (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is an ambitious attorney trying to make a mark for herself. Everything comes second to her career. Her personal life and her husband are made second to her job. This isn’t a right way to start a marriage. Their first year wedding anniversary draws near, and Jess had forgotten. Ryan’s lackadaisical attitude toward Jess forgetting the anniversary date demonstrates a weak mind. Really, Jess? This is the first anniversary! Anyway, Jess tries to keep up appearances for the sake of her marriage, but her husband’s younger brother, Roman, makes it a challenge. Destructive, vindictive, and a complete jerk, Roman (Lee Pace), meddles in their marriage.
Roman is dangerous. He’s dark, moody, and abusive to his quasi-girlfriend, Casey (Tuva Novotny). Jess is terrified of Roman. He was her former client that she represented in a court case. Roman was facing an aggravated assault charge. The weird part about this movie is Jess is introduced to Ryan through Roman. The strain on Jess’s marriage is increasing. When Roman overhears Jess and Ryan’s conversation about sending him to a halfway house, he freaks and speeds off in his car.
Jess becomes worried. Roman is impulsive and unpredictable. She calls Ryan to tell him about Roman. Ryan heads home in his car, hoping to prevent Roman for doing something he’ll regret. While the brothers cross the Golden Gate Bridge, they crash into each another, causing both men to be seriously injured.
Now, this is when the story gets even weirder but in thriller fashion. Both men are in a coma, but Roman awakens first claiming to be her husband, Ryan. It becomes supernatural when Roman claims he entered Ryan’s body as they were being revived side-by-side. Roman creates a fantastical story, saying that he and Ryan swapped bodies. Suddenly, an “oh, my freaking goodness,” slid out of my mouth. Ramon took it there. Wow! Anyway, Jess struggles with the revelation. At first, she was resistant to Roman’s claim. She doesn’t believe him and writes off his claims as disorientation from the accident. Bad move because Roman is not the type you should turn your back on. He’s smooth and oozes manipulation. Directors Simon Sandquist, Joel Bergvall work the camera angles in such a way you feel as if you’re part of the narrative. The pacing is good and the cast is excellent at portraying their characters. This is some sick stuff. I can imagine the cast had to dig deep to evoke the dark emotions needed for this film.
Roman refuses to be defeated, so he recounts specific private memories to Jess. The man did his research! He turns up the heat with romantic gestures. This continues for a year, and Jess accepts Ramon’s claim, which results in a pregnancy. Gads! Like I said, this is a crazy movie. The storyline is too real not to be based on some police blotter. As I type, someone has or is doing something similar to this film. I say police blotter because it refers to a book that a police station records and archives daily arrests, details, and events. Blotters are accessible to the public. Writers do use them for inspiration.
Jess’s coworkers and Ramon’s ex-girlfriend, Casey, try to warn Jess. How many of you received details on your bae from coworkers that you have chosen to ignore? I bet many of you could raise a hand. So, it’s no surprise that Jess ignores them and continues her blissful marriage to Ramon, who she fully embraced as Ryan. The real Ryan remains in a coma, but something is preventing Jess from turning off the machines. Could it be the lovemaking? You know it would be different. Any intimacy would be different—kissing, touching, chemistry, and lovemaking are revealing signs that something isn’t right. At this point, her radar should have been blinking bright red. It didn’t.
Ramon’s ex-girlfriend, Casey, ends up missing, and Jess discovers Roman has lied to her. It’s getting darker! The confrontation turns deadly between Jess and Roman. Roman grows hot with anger, spewing how they’re meant to be together and how he loves her. Why is the reminding me of Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” song? It goes, “Once I ran to you (I ran). Now I’ll run from you. This tainted love you’ve given I give you all a boy could give you.” Crazy! Right? Those lyrics are fitting.
Their argument escalates, and Jess is trying to save her life and that of her unborn child. She ends up mortally wounding Ramon. Meanwhile, parallel to this confrontation, Ryan is having a seizure and the doctors work to keep him alive. Miraculously, Jess and Ramon’s baby survived. With a guilty conscious Jess promises her comatose husband, Ryan, to wait for him so they can begin anew. Did she forget she is having her brother’s baby? Try explaining that when he comes out of the coma.
This movie is based on a Korean film name Addicted. The DVD Possession shows an alternate ending, where Ryan dies and Roman survives. Even crazier, Jess and Roman become a thing, regardless of her discovery that Roman has lied to her. Oh, and Casey is alive. She just moved away. Jess and Roman get their happily ever after. Twisted!
As mentioned, Possession is a thriller/drama based on a Korean story. Possession is the Americanized remake of Won-mi Byung and Young-hoon Park’s Korean release, Addicted. Again, the casting is superb. However, most viewers complained about the lack of supernatural in the film, when the movie poster displays the genre in its design. With that said, Possession isn’t marketed as a supernatural flick. It’s marketed as a thriller and drama. Besides, the plot is horrifying without the supernatural undertones. Being pregnant by some evil brother is crazy enough! Chew on that thought for a while.
Here’s a fun fact: Sarah Michelle Gellar and Lee Pace became best friends.
Movie Rating: 5 stars.
Movie Rating Guide
1 Star = Unwatchable
2 Stars = Cannot Recommend
3 Stars = Great for the Fans
4 Stars = A Solid Movie
5 Stars = Must Own (DVD/Stream Download)
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