Dead Ringers (2023)
I probably like Cronenberg (Snr) as much as the next person that's probably seen more movies than they should have by now. He has his ups and down. The original, cinematic release of this now re-imagined story was propped up by an excellent performance from Jeremy Irons. Rachel Weisz here plays the part of twin sisters Beverly and Elliot Mantle, living out an entirely unique relationship, gynaecologists with seemingly untamed ambition, but entirely different goals.
What first surprises in this six-part Amazon adaptation is the visceral biology of it all. The most natural thing in the world, childbirth, is given a darker, insidious and altogether more graphic twist, featuring characters so inured to the miracle that clinical ambivalence seems more common.
What you will quickly realise is the Weisz's performances are to be admired and spending time in their company will make you think that you could tell the two identical individuals from one another, even if it is indeed only the one person playing two similar faces, though purposefully far from the same.
The hair is the only thing that really gives it visually away, Elliot, more fiery and wanton lets her curls flow. Beverly, more prim and restrained, prefers neat and tidy. A tool that they have no doubt employed in their joined history no doubt, to undermine the confidence of suitors and friends, as well as enemies. The story jogs along at an acceptable pace, just shy of going full loco, always threatening to present full helter-skelter at any moment, which becomes inevitable by the conclusion.
This is no Cronenberg, to be sure, but a valiant attempt at retaining the feel of what the original was trying to represent, with a strong, engaging lead performance that will keep on the edge of your seat throughout, if you're inclined to such things.