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Falls Idaho 1999
Directed by: Michael
Written by: Michael Polish, Mark Polish
Starring: Michele Hicks, Michael Polish, Mark Polish
Look for it at the video store under: drama
it when you’re in the mood for something:
/ 5 the rating
Penny arrives one afternoon at a run-down hotel with the name of a
client scratched on her hand, "Francis Falls." As it turns
out, Francis has ordered the hooker as a birthday present for his twin
brother. More specifically, his conjoined twin brother, Blake. Penny
makes a feeble excuse, then flees. But she’s forced to go back when
she realizes she’s left her purse behind. In the bleak little room,
she finds Blake taking care of an obviously sick Francis.
Concerned, Penny makes a call to her doctor friend, and asks him to come
take a look. Apparently Francis, as perhaps the twins seem already to
have been aware, has a weak heart, and it’s only his connection with
the much stronger Blake that’s keeping him alive. The news saddens
Penny, who’s beginning to feel a closeness to Blake, but when her
lawyer friend/pimp Jay calls, she has to leave. It’s not until
Halloween, when she sees Blake and Francis at her local diner – the
waitress points them out to her when she tells Penny to check out the guys
in the amazing Siamese twins costume – that the budding relationship
picks up again. As Blake becomes more emotionally tied to Penny, he
feels increasingly burdened by the physical and psychological ties that
bind him to his dying brother.
Falls Idaho is not a freak show. As Michele Hicks’ Penny notes to
a friend, the twins aren’t ugly at all, rather beautiful even.
Conjoined-ness aside, they're not even particularly weird. The movie’s
more interested in exploring what it means to be connected to another
human being – using the twins’ physical dependence as a metaphor for
spiritual and emotional dependence – than about satisfying any sick
fascinations viewers might have with looking at that which is not the
norm. Real-life identical twins Michael and Mark Polish, acting as both
writers and stars, never play the twins for shock value, concentrating
instead on defining each twin’s individual personality, even while
communicating how in tune they are with one another. The writing’s a
little uneven, occasionally indulging in obvious metaphors and awkward
monologues that are pretty shamelessly intended to break your heart, but
for the most part, there’s a lovely, dreamy quiet intimacy to both the
storytelling and the cinematography that really lulls you in.
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