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Twin Falls Idaho

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Twin Falls Idaho

Starring: Mark Polish, Michael Polish
Director: Mark Polish
Rated: R
RunTime: 110 Minutes
Release Date: July 1999
Genres: Drama, Romance





Review by Akiva Gottlieb
3 stars out of 4

The Polish Brothers' "Twin Falls Idaho" is an example of an effective independent film. With a cast of no-name actors, it shows us things that we've never been shown before. In "Twin Falls Idaho" these things are presented to us in an original and involving manner, for it is a true independent film made with heart instead of money.

Yes, there is a real town called Twin Falls, Idaho, but it has nothing at all to do with this film. Let me break down the title for you: Twin- This film involves two brothers who are conjoined twins. Falls- The brothers' last name is Falls. Idaho- They live on Idaho Ave., in a city that closely resembles downtown Los Angeles.

Real-life identical twins Michael and Mark Polish play, respectively, Francis and Blake, a pair of conjoined twins living in a run-down hotel. Penny (Michele Hicks), a hooker, shows up as a birthday present, but Francis falls ill and she ends up staying and taking care of them. Francis' health has been heading downwards, and the stronger Blake is the one who keeps them alive.

Slowly, Blake and Penny become friends, and Penny begins to feel an odd attraction for him. Francis, however, takes an instant disliking to her; perhaps because he is jealous. After living about 20 years attached to each other, Blake finally starts to think about how it would be if he could be free, and not have to worry about Francis. "I'll call you when I'm single," Blake says to Penny.

The relationship between the conjoined twins is very, very interesting. As a character notes later in the film, their companionship is like a marriage where divorce is not an option. Blake and Francis are well-rounded individuals, but a thing like this makes you wonder how some more hostile types can survive as conjoined twins.

The Polish Brothers have crafted a dark, but touching film. The film's tone and story are offbeat, but surprisingly, it should be accessible to mainstream audiences. There are many directions that this film could have travelled, and a fine path was chosen. I was expecting a more gritty movie, but "Twin Falls Idaho" has chosen to keep the tension subtle. In this way, the film can be moving without being too sentimental.

The performances of the two brothers are as effective as their behind-the-camera work. They manage to convey, quietly, the long, drawn-out suffering of two brothers who are together without a choice. However, it is newcomer Michele Hicks, as Penny, who makes the most affecting debut. Instead of being the hooker with a heart of gold, she is a heart of gold who happens to be a hooker.

The Polish Brothers' debut film, "Twin Falls Idaho", is an interesting, character-driven movie that may decieve some with its dark tone. Praised at Sundance, the idea of "Twin Falls Idaho" may strike some as too odd, but those willing to see the film will find it a pleasant surprise; like a hooker with a heart of gold.

Copyright 1999 Akiva Gottlieb

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