Ari Cohen, blog, Bruce McDonald, Daniel Fathers, drama, Ellen Page, entertainment, Erin McMurtry, Film, Flashbacks, fragmented mind, high school, Kate Todd, Maureen Medved, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, rants, review, Ryan Cooley, The Tracey Fragments, thoughts, Zie Souwand
The Tracey Fragments (2007)
Fond of greatly edited movies, I am. Of which The Tracey Fragments is surly up to par, along with Spun. While the film was shot in only 14 days, they spent the next 5-6 months “playing” and working the material having shot to form what would best capture Tracey’s fragmented mind, much like is described in the book. The way in which it was finally presented surely being a unique way to have the material presented. The fact that Ellen Page was staring simply an added plus in that she gives to her performances unlike what I have seen with other actresses, especially from the beginning of their career. She is pure talent and usually exceeds my expectations. Except for Juno; it’s more than likely the movies that you don’t hear of that I’ve liked her best. Hard Candy, Smart People and Mouth to Mouth mainly, the question of her talent not necessarily needing to be asked. I do hope she’s able to continue to show a continued, strong female character and not simply be confined to the Independent movies genre.
The film begins with Tracey on a bus in what you later find out is a shower curtain wrapped around her naked body. We find her almost at the end of her journey which has gone quite astray if you can imagine at this point. Tracey has been trying to find her brother, who it seemed went missing after following her into the woods to play. Her brother Sonny couldn’t speak due to Tracey having hypnotized him into thinking he was a dog that only barked. Her parents being the reason any of this even started. Their father had asserted they were both mistakes while their mother was surgically placed in front of the television while smoking 3 packs a day. They had her speak to a shrink who only cared for money and had diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder, which more or less was accurate. Though it seemed more combined with a few of the subcategories within the disorder. Tracey thought it was elders in her life that needed the shrinks, her father showing discern for not knowing what he could believe and what was just a part of some fantasy. School wasn’t any better for her in that she was called names, tripped and bullied continually because of her “lack if form” and androgynous nature. The silver lining named Billy Zero, the new guy in school. “He put his dick in me and said I love you in that exact order. Now I’m not afraid to die” Their entire “relationship” being mainly manipulated within the confines of Tracey’s mind. The whole reason for her losing sight of her brother being that Billy Zero just so happened to be near when they were playing. Suggesting first a drive but soon after entering the car, kissing and getting right to the point of what it was he wanted. By the time it was over, all 5 seconds, he opens the door and pushes her out as though nothing but trash tossed to the side. It’s after this point that Tracey goes on her journey and we see all the misadventures she endures while trying to find her brother.
Which was really the “sane” version of what happened. I’m not sure one could actually convey how integrated and greatly portrayed the scenes were. There merely thoughts as they occur. Facets attempting to break through periodically as Tracey tried to know which one to abide by; they each show her such different realities. Page was a perfect choice for this role and showed tremendous strength, despite her character’s isolated ways. She wasn’t exactly sure of what she was but she knew damn well what she wasn’t. Which wasn’t anything like that at school. As well, the role may not seem outright humorous but the sarcastic undertones that Tracey had created made for quite an entertaining aspect to the role. The only other role we see enough acting to judge was Maxwell as Lance. He did maintain a charm to himself though not much more than your average drug dealer. The character of Billy Zero kind of looked like a member of the Sex Pistols, before they were the Sex Pistols. I don’t get the appeal but I suppose I could understand, suppose. My kudos are going to fully go to the Director on this one though for all of the extra shots needed (and there was a lot!). I’ll go ahead and spoil it for you in that they never find the brother, probably never came back home but who knows? It’s a pretty short film and is simply a flash into this girl’s head. A bit of a slow watch though certainly worth viewing; so save it for a slow day or when needing “background noise.”