Per its press notes, Look “poses the pivotal question: Are we always alone when we think we are?” Director Adam Rifkin’s answer is a resounding “no,” but that’s about all his gimmicky film—in which a variety of narratives are told exclusively through the filter of surveillance and other real-world cameras—has to say on this supposedly significant issue. In this multifaceted tale, a teacher with a pregnant wife is seduced by a high school vixen, a pair of murderers kill a cop, a department store manager screws a variety of employees in the store room (where he also jerks off to online porn), a nerdy office worker is the target of practical jokes, and a lawyer and family man has a secret rendezvous with his gay lover while his wife and daughter are stalked in the mall by a would-be child abductor. The thread binding these unrelated folks is a common disconnect between public facades and private conduct, though the notion that people aren’t always who they appear to be—and reveal their authentic selves when they’re not around others—is hardly some sort of revelation about society or human behavior. Rifkin turns the tables on both his characters and audience expectations in pretty predictable ways, and his aesthetic stunt isn’t always as consistent as it should be, so that security camera footage is sometimes authentically grainy, scratchy, and black and white, and at other times is HD camcorder-quality. Nonetheless, if he offers little insight into the reasons why we act differently when by ourselves (or why we, as film viewers, like to watch other people’s confidential business), at least the director has some fun with his voyeuristic peeping-tom scenario, from a car crash that transforms into a John Landis cameo, to a sequence in which a convenience store clerk busts out his keyboard at work and plays a heavy metal tune written from the perspective of a criminal being electrocuted (“I am getting electrocuted/Cuz I killed all my family”) while his friend boogies around the store, leaping over food racks.
- Vitagraph Films
- 102 min
- Adam Rifkin
- Adam Rifkin
- Hayes MacArthur, Jamie McShane, Spencer Redford, Nichelle Hines, Ben Weber, Paul Schackman, Chris Williams, Jennifer Fontaine, Guiseppe Andrews
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