The film “Identity” was released in relatively distant 2003 so nowadays it can be considered a kind of classic. In fact, it deserves the title of a cult suspense-thriller, and from the first minutes, it fascinates with the atmosphere in the style of Agatha Christie’s detectives, whose famous work called “And Then There Were None” was used as a guide for the filmmakers.
Directed by John Mangold, it dared to make a picture that takes place in the confined space of a roadside hotel, although in the early 2000s, this technique seemed rather hackneyed and tired. However, a film with the most trivial plot can be shot in such a way that it will spark new colors and make the audience believe in the reality of what is happening again, and on the opposite – a project with an incredibly original script can be turned into something too cluttered, excessively eccentric and difficult to understand. “Identity” is precisely the first option.
How to prove the innocence of a person with dissociative identity disorder?
Dissociative identity disorder is extremely rare, but it does exist, and it is so peculiar and unusual that it invariably arouses the interest of psychiatrists and ordinary people. As a rule, this “splitting” of one person into several, as if coexisting in his/her body, is caused by severe emotional trauma or neglected mental illness. According to statistics, real dissociative identity disorder affects about 1% of the population of our planet; according to other reports, only 0.1%.
This information is necessary in order to understand Dr. Malik’s behavior. Dr. Malik, the psychiatrist working with Malcolm Rivers, has had the unique opportunity to diagnose, investigate and perhaps even find some way to treat someone with a dissociative identity disorder. In other words, he was lucky enough to meet such a patient, as most other doctors cannot boast. And even the fact that the patient turned out to be a murderer under investigation does not diminish the significance of this discovery. Dr. Malik truly believes that Rivers can simply be rid of the most violent part of his personality and tries his best to help him avoid the death penalty.
If you’ve already seen the movie, the sudden transition from talking about a suspense thriller in a confined space to the affection of some doctor for some patient shouldn’t have surprised you. If you haven’t seen it yet, at this point, you should probably stop reading and familiarize yourself with the film project first. Otherwise, the outcome will not be as intriguing as it could have been.
#9: Susan Caroline
So, as you may have guessed by now, we intend to look at all the personalities that have survived in Malcolm Rivers’ body, in the order of their deaths and by the numbers that the “maniac” subsequently left next to their corpses. The first person to leave the world in the film is Susan Caroline (since all the characters’ last names represent state names). Played by Rebecca De Mornay, this girl is a rather famous and self-important actress and dies in the banalest way: A “maniac” kills her as she wanders down the street near her hotel trying to catch a cell phone signal.
#8: Lou Yiziana
This character was acted by actor William Lee Scott, who is not too well known to the general public. Lou married his girlfriend only because she claimed to be pregnant, and while starring in the movie “Identity,” he found out that she had lied. It’s hard to say how aggressive Lou is under normal circumstances because he behaves quite naturally in such a situation: he gets angry and starts banging on the bathroom door where his wife has locked herself away from him. He doesn’t manage to get to her, though.
#7: George York
George York was played by the public’s beloved John McGinley, best known for his role as Dr. Cox on the cult TV series “Scrubs.” However, his character in this film is very far from a sarcastic, but nonetheless incredibly gifted, doctor. George is a quiet, calm, and not too confident man who is shocked to find out that his wife has been seriously injured in an accident and may now pass away. He is killed, crushed by Larry’s pickup truck when he saves his stepson Timmy from the same fate. In the context of the final events of the film, the fact that the boy was standing and looking at the car coming straight at him does not seem so strange.
#6: Alice York
George’s wife was played by Leila Kensal, who stars mostly in soap operas and considers marriage and family psychotherapy as her main work. Alice dies shortly after her husband, and in all the time before that, she says not so many words as to be able to get a clear idea of her personality. All that can be stated unequivocally is that she loves her son and probably has warm feelings for her husband.
#5: Ginny Isiana
Ginny, the very girl who tricked her boyfriend into marrying her, was played by Clea Duvall. Ginny’s character is rather nervous, and she is one of those on whom the situation puts the most psychological pressure. When the number of deaths in the motel reaches four, she decides to try to leave with Timmy, but the car explodes as soon as Jeannie starts the engine. Here comes the turning point of the film: the characters notice that the corpses of the dead people have mysteriously disappeared somehow. Shortly thereafter, it turns out that they were all born on the same day (albeit in different years) and that their last names represent the names of the states. Then there is also the first appearance of Rivers’ inner personalities outside: more precisely, one personality of John Cusack’s character.
#4: Larry Washington
The role of Larry went to John Hawkes. Washington’s story is more like fiction: a month before what was going on, he lost his money in a casino, happened to stumble upon this hotel whose owner had been murdered, and decided to take his place. Especially since the latter’s name was the same – Larry, this character is quite jittery and hysterical, not always able to think adequately and capable of reckless actions. The viewer says goodbye to him when he is shot by Samuel Rhodes.
#3: Samuel Rhodes
Ray Liotta’s character has been leading others around by the nose throughout the film, posing as a police officer when in fact, he is a criminal. Samuel Rhodes murdered in cold blood the policeman who was transporting him along with another prisoner in a squad car and then took his place. Clearly, Samuel is one of the darkest personalities in the entire Malcolm projection system. Edward Dakota’s bullets kill him.
#2: Edward Dakota
Ed, played by John Cusack, is the particular embodiment of Rivers’ conscience. He left the police force because he couldn’t prevent a pregnant Mexican woman with AIDS from committing suicide. Nevertheless, he has not abandoned his old habits, and throughout the movie, he tries to help others and find out who the killer is. Ed also ends up dead in a shootout with Rhodes, just a few minutes after him.
#1: Paris Nevada
Oddly enough, it is the former prostitute who turns out to be one of the most human, morally resilient and prepared for anything. Yes, she has the occasional breakdown and tantrum. Still, by and large, she can be called the most stress-resistant woman in the motel and one of the most mentally resilient characters in general (after, perhaps, Ed). She dies when the identity of the “maniac” is finally established.
Toward the end of the story, we are informed that all the murders Malcolm Rivers has committed have been the work of his most seemingly innocent alter ego, the modest, silent little Timmy. At the end of the film, however, he is not silent, and he quite confidently declares that “Whores don’t get a second chance,” a phrase he shares with Rivers himself, pouncing on Dr. Malick in an attempt to strangle him.
It could be said that absolutely everything in this film is thoughtful and appropriate. Frankly, it would have looked beautiful even if it had been a flat story in the “And Then There Were None” format. But the revealing truth that it’s all happening in one man’s mind adds a special spice to it and makes it a true classic.
Meaning of the movie “Identity.”
What does not happen to the psyche of people under the influence of solid emotional experiences or in the absence of treatment for mental illness?
In some cases, people have dissociative identity disorder, the division of one person into several personalities at once. Such a disease is quite rare, but you should not write off the fact of its existence. The eccentricity of the course of this mental illness attracts not only scientists but also ordinary people to it.
Statistics show that no more than 1% of the inhabitants of the Earth suffer from this disease. However, other data reduce the proportion of patients to 0.1%.
The previous information may seem out of date, but it is not. Only by having a general idea of this disease can one understand the behavior of another character in the film, Dr. Malik.
His patient was Malcolm Rivers, who was diagnosed with a dissociative identity disorder. For the doctor, it is essential to study the disease and develop a reliable and effective treatment.
Such “luck” of Dr. Malik should not go unnoticed because not every doctor can boast of working with such a patient. It does not matter that Rivers is a killer and is currently under investigation.
According to the deep conviction of the doctor, a man can be cured; for this, you only need to remove the aggressive part from his personality. Wanting to help Rivers in treatment, he tries with all his might to save him from the fate of being executed for murder.
For viewers who managed to watch this movie masterpiece, the jumps from the thriller to the psychological component of the picture are pretty understandable. But for those unfamiliar with the plot of Identification, it is better to watch it immediately. Otherwise, reading this article will significantly reduce the intrigue of the final part.