The opening scene of Aaron Katz’s “Gemini” shows the upside-down view of palm trees foreshadow how life is about to be turned upside down.
Set in present day Los Angeles, Jill LeBeau (Lola Kirke) is the personal assistant to upcoming Hollywood star, Heather Anderson (Zoe Kravitz). Not only is Jill her assistant but she is also a close friend who is there for Heather throughout the ups and the downs of her life.
We first see Jill talking on the phone to Devin, Heather’s ex, who claims he wanted to murder Heather. Later, Heather asks Jill to tell Greg that she will no longer be acting in his movie and he goes ballistic. We later learn that he too said he could and wanted to kill Heather after she destroyed the dream of his film by dropping out. Getting followed by super-fans and paparazzi, Heather confides in Jill about feeling unsafe and fearing for her life. In doing so, Heather asks to borrow Jill’s gun for protection.
After a night spent drinking, performing karaoke, Heather getting caught kissing their friend Tracy, and a horrible crime to follow, Jill is left to piece together the story as she remains the top suspect all while running from police in a disguise.
“Gemini” shows a fear of technology and the extremely connected world of its characters. Within minutes of taking a photo with a fan, Heather is able to find it posted and shared throughout social media. Even though she is offended by the fan, Heather still wants to see the photo and see how she looked due to the effects it would have on her own self-image and to the rest of the world. Heather becomes overwhelmed in the spotlight and is unable to separate her private and public life.
The film’s dull blue and purple color scheme with neon accents and the music building and lulling at the perfect times add to the suspense, drama, and overall theme of the lackluster Hollywood experience. Scenes within Jill’s apartment building are filmed with the perfect angles in mind. Shots filmed throughout Los Angeles or the twisting of the roads were thought out with care and purpose as to how the lighting and angles would look in each exact moment.
The dynamic between Heather and Jill shows undeniable chemistry, giving the sense of a true history between the pair that goes further than a work relationship. A stereotypical assistant-boss relationship is not visible, and it is not clear that Jill is in this position until it is discussed directly in the film. This close relationship only contributed to Heather’s growing anxiety after rumors began about a possible deeper relationship between her and Jill.
Unfortunately, Devin (Reeve Carney), the ex, is not seen in the film until later. More about that relationship would have given added suspense, such as the history of the relationship, the breakup, or police questioning. Other characters, including Jamie (Michelle Forbes) and Detective Ahn (John Cho), could have been utilized more throughout “Gemini” to give it that added boost instead of a dragged-out story with missing details throughout. Greg (Nelson Franklin) gives the perfect amount of twisted humor to the story as he compares the crime to a movie script and determines how he would write it.
The film “Gemini” is missing an extra something. The acting, directing and idea are there, but the film needs something deeper than a surface level drama/mystery with a classic plot twist to make this film a true drama/mystery that would get a genuine reaction out of it similar to other films of the same genre. With the ending wrapping up so fast it seemed unfinished. There were too many unanswered questions making the viewers crave more.
Overall, “Gemini” simply missed the mark.
This review was a product of my Journalism 3630 Reviewing and Criticism class. Edits to my original reviews have been made based on comments by my professor. Please contact me for original copies.