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TIFF Review: Jack

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Jack Unterweger (Johannes Krisch) transforms himself into a celebrated poet while being incarcerated and becomes a murder suspect upon being released.

A couple run out of a gas station with bottles of stolen liquor toward their getaway vehicle and head for a hotel room where they have a drunken tryst. Upon the female companion being driven home she is ordered by her male lover to bring a neighbour to him who is later discovered to be murdered.

While in jail the convicted killer poetically writes down his thoughts leading to a publishing deal, a newspaper job, a celebrity photo shoot and a passionate affair with a married woman; however, despite all of the attention there still appears to be a disconnect between him and society which gets heightened by a police investigation into a series of grisly murders.

There is an almost fun Bonnie and Clyde quality with the opening robbery sequence. The transition from stage to the audience during the book reading session was slick. Backstory is neatly provided with the appearance of the conniving mother of the protagonist. A bathing lover being shoved beneath the waterline and then embraced with childish joy has a chilling effect.

A prevailing quietness suggests an emotional undercurrent which is going to erupt into a torrent of rage but that moment never arrives. The cutaways of the forest setting and the police investigation never seem to be a natural part of the storytelling but instead are awkward additions. The conclusion is a conventional rather than insightful passage into a tormented and dark soul that feels as incomplete as the killer himself.

2-out-of-5

 

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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