What does the film In a Possessor have in common with Christopher Nolan’s Inception, how does the first one surpass it, and what is the meaning of the bloody ending of Brandon Cronenberg’s film – you will learn about all this from this analysis. Beware of spoilers in the text!
The main character, Tasya Vos, preparing for the next contract killing, gets used to the role as a professional actor – she thoroughly studies her “character” and learns to imitate his behavior. But Tasya does not just imitate someone else’s life, she is a direct participant in it and, as a rule, her own executioner. At the same time, Tasya, being in the body of the host, feels everything the same as he does. Not surprisingly, such a transition to another body and back can lead to a loss of self-identity. To keep track of how the owner of the host has returned to reality and is aware of himself, there is a special test that Tasya passes at the beginning and end of the film. But what if the owner changes?
It is important to understand here that Tasya, taking possession of the body of the host, does not get rid of the personality of its real owner, but suppresses it, and she is still in the body as a silent observer. At the same time, the personality of the host identifies the actions of the invader with himself, this becomes clear when the real Colin, having briefly regained control, tries to explain to his girlfriend the murder of the girl and her father – in his opinion, they attacked him, provoked him. Later, when he sees the image of Tasi in his head and her memories, Colin will understand that she somehow controls him. All this is very reminiscent of the plot of the film “Inception” by Christopher Nolan, the main theme of which was the introduction of a certain idea into someone’s subconscious. By the way, in both films, the son wanted to take control of the empire that their father had built. But Cronenberg Jr. goes further and wonders But what if the owner of the host himself is subjected to what begins in his mind, like a worm (this image is literally embodied in a device implanted in the skull of the host), a certain idea is born and develops. Nolan had something similar in the way that Marion Cotillard’s character gradually lost her sense of reality – but this transformation was not given much attention.
In the case of Tasi, we observe in detail the formation of her craving for violence and blood. The origins of this obsession should be sought in the features of Tasi’s profession, which were mentioned above – when dealing with murders, the heroine begins to thirst for blood (Colin’s story with cat litter is a metaphor). And the ability to get used to the role for work turns into the need to get used to the role of an ordinary person for family life, so we see Tasya rehearsing lines before meeting with her family. Being an ordinary person for her is now just a matter of imitation, because in her essence she is now a predator.
It is admirable how Cronenberg, with just one silent scene, shows the process of awakening the bloodlust in Tas. We are talking about the scene in which the heroine in the body of a hostess arrives at an appointment with a lawyer. Tasya, dressed in a blue suit (which is ironic, this color represents the purity of motives), even at the door stops her eyes on the decorative fountain, the camera shows us a close-up of it – water flows from the fountain in a thin stream. After Tasya enters the elevator, the walls of which are painted red, and looks at her crimson reflection in the glossy surface. Thoughtfulness is read in the look of the heroine. Having gone up to the restaurant, Tasya stops at the cutlery and strokes the knives in fascination. The thought in Tasi’s mind is obviously taking shape. In the next moment, Tasya is already stabbing the knife into the lawyer’s neck, a crimson stream of blood streaming from his wound. The images of the fountain and the red walls of the elevator have formed into this eerie picture, from which Tasya cannot take her eyes off. Brilliant.
Why can’t Tasya shoot herself?
The most likely reason is Tasi’s shaky control over the host due to her attachment to the family. At the moment when you need to pull the trigger, the host’s consciousness resists due to the instinct of self-preservation, and Tasya cannot overcome it in any way, since she has not gotten rid of her vulnerability. To judge how things were before, the viewer has no opportunity. Even the technician’s remark that it would be better for Tase to pull the trigger this time should not be taken into account, since the technician was one of the newcomers.
Power of love
At the heart of the affection, which her boss Girder tells Tase, is, of course, love. This is the force (just like Nolan in Interstellar, coincidence?), which does not allow, on the one hand, Tase to keep control over the host, on the other hand, allows Colin to return this very control. The characters talk about this power at the turning point of the film, when Colin visits Tasi’s family. Colin’s exceptional level of control also speaks to how much he loved his girlfriend, for whom he endured humiliation from her father, working in a humiliating position in his company.
An interesting detail, Tasia addresses Colin as if she associates herself with him – just like the owners of the hosts when they were taken over by Tasia.
Realizing and accepting her predatory nature and getting rid of her family, Tasya finally becomes the perfect killer. This transformation is shown by the test that Tasya usually passes after returning from the host. Passing this test at the beginning of the film, the heroine regrets the butterfly she killed in her childhood, according to her, she still cannot forgive herself for this. At the end of the picture, Tasya literally quotes her story about the murder of a butterfly, but after that we no longer hear words of regret.
Possessor ending explained
When Tasi wakes up in the lab in her body, she sees her supervisor Girder next to her in the same capsule. Yes, the woman was one of those who possessed Tasi’s son and controlled him.
At the very end, in the final scene, it is shown that Tasia Vos is undergoing another test after returning from a combat operation. The woman again sorts through objects related to her childhood and youth to prove to her employers that her brain is in order and all memories were preserved during the personality transfer.
The main character again takes the frame with the butterfly, which she inadvertently killed as a child. At the beginning of the film, she said that after her act she experienced a persistent sense of guilt. But now she does not seem to feel anything because she is silent. It turns out that Tasya no longer feels remorse for killing people? And she doesn’t care that she killed her son? A real happy ending.
It turns out that the main moral and meaning of the thriller “In someone else’s skin” (“Possessor”) – all the evil caused invariably returns. And getting out of the water, being a professional assassin, will not work. And if you fantasize about the continuation, then the main character Tasya Vos in the second part will be forced to continue to kill until she finally goes crazy – she simply no longer has an alternative.