Published Work


Based on parallel events, the screenwriter Michael Cooney has twisted a web of cunning and mystery to create one of today’s most intelligent thrillers – a rare feat achieved only by the very genius.

Cast: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Jake Busey, Rebecca DeMornay, Clea Duvall, Ray Liotta, Alfred Molina, John Hawkes
Director: James Mangold

Coupled by the skills of director James Mangold, renowned for his sophisticated and emotionally charged dramas, Identity, has you holding your breath while at the edge of your seat all throughout the hour-and-a-half film. The film unfolds with a psychiatrist (Alfred Molina) who has managed an eleventh hour hearing for his client (Pruitt Taylor Vince), charged with multiple murders and facing execution. He believes that his client is unknowing of his sickness and with proper attention could be cured. As a result he gathers a hearing to demonstrate and prove his clients innocence.

Meanwhile, in another set of events a thunderstorm washes all routes in both directions bringing together ten strangers to a seedy motel in a remote area. While the hearing is being held, a vicious killer is slowly killing the new motel guests.

The ensemble cast includes John Cusack as a limousine driver who has a jack-of-all-trades past. He is driving Rebecca De Mornay playing a fading movie actress. Ray Liotta is a police officer transporting a convict (Jake Busey) to prison. Amanda Peet plays the role of a hooker who has made enough to retire. The motel manager Larry (John Hawkes) has a secretive past. The newlyweds are Clea DuVall and William Lee Scott. John C. McGinley, his wife who has been in an accident and their stepson make up the rest of the cast.

Amidst the heavy downpour and thunderbolts lighting up the stormy sky, the visitors are slowly being murdered by an unseen force. Suspicions are raised and the credibility of each of the characters is thoroughly tested. In spite of the randomness of the killings clues of a countdown alert the survivors adding to their panic. It slowly dawns that this is a small part of a bigger picture and as the movie trailer would put it, “Accidents seem to have a purpose”.

The murder scenes at the motel are often interjected by the proceedings of the hearing only to finally arrive at an exhilarating connection – and an undeniable climax.

Michael Cooney lets the viewers play detective as the script churns out hints after hints. Even after the main plot of the script is revealed, the surprises keep coming, leaving you as engrossed as a wide-eyed pop-corn hogging monkey. This, the ingenuity of the script, is essentially the success factor of the movie.

Identity is as fast paced as it is totally cunning and even if the subject matter is a little disturbing, it makes an interesting flick. Though the story is highly fictitious, James Mangold has toyed with the events to make it all feel very, very plausible.

All in all a very satisfying piece of scary entertainment that will leave you discussing the clues all the way back home.