I initially heard about ‘Jonathan’ at this year’s LA Film Festival but the screenings were all sold out then, and unless I missed it, I don’t think it had a theatrical run. That’s a shame, because I think this is quite a fine film. Directed by Bill Oliver, the set up of the film would conjure sci-fi thoughts.Basically, a pair of brothers share one body. John and Jonathan (both played by Ansel Elgort) have what they call ‘single body multi consciousness) and basically there is a day and night version of a body inhabited by two brains. That may be a clumsy way of describing it but the film explains it better. They more or less lead a fairly functional life until something happens. John – the night version – falls in love. And you know when love enters the picture – any picture, everything just turns to s**t. The film becomes more intimate, introspective, and it made me think about everyday choices we make, and how that affects all the people around us.
The film is anchored by a great performance by Elgort. Frankly, I didn’t realize he had this performance in him – a very intelligent take on the character – subtly effective. This performance could have gone really bad, but you suspend disbelief because the characterization is spot on. This makes me think the upcoming West Side Story shoudl be in fine hands as he will be playing Tony.
The film is not perfect – the second part meanders a bit after an exhilarating start – but I highly recommend this.