Gemini hits theaters on March 30th.
By I. Simon
Despite positive reviews from critics upon premiere at SXSW in March 2017, I have been hearing somewhat mixed reactions surrounding Gemini. These mixed reactions made me curious to check it out. While I do think that Lola Kirke and Zoë Kravitz have proven themselves to be competent actresses, I was completely unfamiliar with the writer/director/editor Aaron Katz, so I went in blind with moderate expectations. But in the end, I had gotten one of the most bland, most shallow, and just one of the worst excuses for a mystery-thriller I have seen in recent memory.
Written, directed and edited by Aaron Katz, and starring Lola Kirke (Mistress America), Zoë Kravitz (HBO’s Big Little Lies), and John Cho (American Pie), Gemini follows Jill LeBeau (Lola Kirke), who is the assistant of Hollywood starlet Heather Anderson (Zoë Kravitz). Jill arrives at Heather’s house one day to find her dead from a gunshot wound. With a cop who has a suspicion of Jill on her tail, she must solve the murder of her employer.
Katz’s direction and script are absolutely poor. He fails to get us to care about what’s happening, because the two leads (whom I will not call “characters,” as that is disrespectful to the word) are so bland and inert. There’s no emotion, flow, momentum, mystery, or suspense. Instead of trying to get us to care, Katz is more concerned about being edgy by throwing neon and synth all over the film, and while they look and sound nice, they do not help the film, because there is no point of them being there. In fact, not only does it come off as very manipulative, but it makes me think of other films that also have neon and synth in them, but are far better films that are actually well made, making me wish that I was watching one of those films instead. Not only is Gemini devoid of mystery or tension, but the film is narratively a mess as a whole. The film is apparently supposed to be “a love letter to LA,” but other than a few nice shots of LA, nothing in Gemini suggests that. All of this leads to an ending that may go down as one of the worst endings in 2018 cinema.
But despite the abysmal script, one of the very worst elements of said script is the dreadful dialogue, all of which the actors cannot deliver. Speaking of the acting, all of the performances range from really bad to flat out awful. I could tell that Lola Kirke was trying at least, and she is passable at some points, but she still gets brought down. As for all of the other actors, one can tell that they do not care one bit.
I am honestly struggling to find what many people see in Gemini, because it is a failure of filmmaking on almost every level. Yes, it does have some nice neon palettes, some nice shots of LA, and a pretty good score, but those do not compensate for the horrible acting, the inept direction, or the abysmal, lousy excuse for a screenplay. Gemini not only fails as a mystery-thriller, but it fails as a film altogether.
I give Gemini a D-.