Look Again has an interesting concept, but stops at its moral dilemma. It even feels like it begins fifteen minutes into its own story, not giving audiences a fair chance to bite into any leading characters. The film is filled with ideas and questions and confrontations that are better suited for a stage show developed by a flavourful improv troupe.
We start with Amit (Anand Rajaram), a young man in crisis trying to decide how he should lie across railroad tracks. He’s obviously suicidal and desperate, and we learn why through a series of short flashbacks depicting betrayals he’s recently been the butt of. Amit is visited by guardian angels (Christian Potenza and Darryl Dinn) who give him a helpful gift: mystical white-frame glasses that can show the eye of the beholder if someone is “good” or bad”. The positive people emit a radiant glow and rotten folks look as if their antenna needs adjusting.
The glasses also help Amit find romance (Brittany Allen) and find a steady job at a temp agency. His duties at work require him to scope out interviewees, and use his “good judgement” to weed out the bad eggs. However, since the glasses are so handy, Amit becomes dependant on his spectacles.
Look Again follows a typical story of a ho-hum chump who finds inner courage and turns his life around. Director/screenwriter Daniel O’Connor doesn’t stray too far away from familiarity either, resulting in a movie that’s easy to predict despite its stars’ surprisingly sunny chemistry.
This brings me to the actors featured in Look Again. Rajaram holds the film together with a happy energy and a cherubic smile that suggests Amit can never suppress his excitement. How can he when he holds a supernatural power that guarantees him a life of trust? Potenza and Dinn are amiable in their cushy roles – using skills they’ve developed through past comedic work – and other supporting players earn the audience’s appreciation with their straight shooter reactions when Amit’s secret is exposed to them.
Considering how thin the film’s general characterization is, it’s a testament to the talented performers when their sheer likeability shapes Look Again into an enjoyable movie. The cast doesn’t keep Look Again entirely afloat, but they certainly keep it from drowning.
Look Again opens at Toronto’s Kingsway Movie Theatre & Cafe on Friday, June 24. A Q&A with Daniel O’Connor and cast members will follow after 24, 25, and 28 screenings.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie