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Trauma review

Trauma
15certificate 15
Running time: 97 minutes
Starring: Colin Firth, Mena Suvari, Brenda Fricker, Naomie Harris, Sean Harris, Tommy Flanagan
Rating 2 out of 10
Colin Firth sheds his Mr Nice Guy tag in Trauma, the fourth film directed by Marc Evans (Resurrection Man, My Little Eye), and while it's a good thing to see him take on a role other than a romantic lead, it's a shame that his considerable talents are wasted in this pretty poor British mess.

Firth stars as Ben, who at the beginning of the film wakes up in a London hospital after being involved in a car crash. His girlfriend may have been killed in the car crash, and a killer may also be on the loose, responsible for the death of one of Britain's leading singing stars. Ben tries to piece the recent events together, as his confused minds allows him to see only glimpses of what has happened to him.

Returning home, Ben tries to understand more, through conversations with his builder mate and an inexplicable relationship with his neighbour Charlotte (Mena Suvari, presumably cast to add some perceived box office clout to the film). Ben also tends his collection of ants and is visited periodically by a detective who suspects him of involvement in the murder. Brenda Fricker also pops up as a mystic who may be able to help him with his cause.

The film falls flat on several levels: notably in becoming very boring very quickly. There's a distinct feeling of cleverness running through Richard Smith's one-dimensional screenplay, but with little to care about as far as characters are concerned, the plot is both confusing and ultimately offers little in the way of a satisfactory pay-off.

Firth soldiers bravely on, presumably unaware of the mess he is involved in, and is the film's only bright point. He delivers a performance which highlights the range of his considerable talent, and the only success of the film for him may be that it opens doors for him in other genres. Naomie Harris makes a fleeting appearance as his ex-girlfriend but again her talents are put to little use.

As a study in mental isolation, Trauma barely passes muster, and the real trauma will be for anyone who unfortunately wastes their money on a ticket to see it. A far better option would be to stay home and watch David Cronenberg's recent under-rated Spider, which deals with similar themes in a much more compelling fashion.

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