DID I? (2023)
DIRECTOR: Sarah Tice
Release Date: TBA
"Genevieve attempts to navigate her life with DID, but begins to see flashbacks of memories she had no part in creating. Nervous of how dangerous she may be, she descends into hallucinations as she gets closer to the origin of her trauma."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
The “split personality” trope used within the magic of movies is usually a burden of eye-rolling legerdemain. There are exceptions. Shyamalan’s Split. Scorcese’s Shutter Island. Fincher’s Fight Club. Hitchcock’s Psycho. A handful of others have also escaped that too-convenient solution of daytime soaps. Yet true dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a serious mental illness. One that can stem from the pain of serious trauma, and terrible abuse. One that usually does not create an “evil twin.” With DID I?, indie filmmaker Sarah Tice deconstructs this disorder. She shatters the tropes and effectively uses a fiction-driven narrative to bring weight to the subject.
Tice and her editor/producer partner Zachary Beckler have created a well-made and highly-disturbing production whose reflected horrors are seriously real. DID I? successfully splits the story of a conflicted drama to a biting thriller that is sadly real.
Alexandra Pica plays Genevieve, a shrinking violet with Anne Hathaway eyes. She works as an editor for a small publishing house that was lucky enough to have one of their series snag an exclusive streaming adaptation; ironically, one about a detective who possesses a killer split personality. Genevieve, of course, lives with DID, OCD, and a few other mental diagnoses. She is quiet, unsure, and taps her fingers nervously. She eats ice cream for dinner and fitfully sleeps alone. Her other personality is Stevie. And yes, Stevie is sassy. She wantonly spends Genevieve’s meager earnings. She drinks too much. Laughs too loudly. Commands a room and flashes new tattoos. Genevieve does not want to live with Stevie but she has to. Stevie is the roomie with no boundaries; the twin sister that is annoyingly brazen.
She’s trying to work through it all with the help of Rachel (Raven Wynn), her therapist. Rachel asks the right questions. She offers stress balls. And Genevieve tries.
Until something happens.
Then Stevie takes over.
And DID I? jumps into the expected. Stevie flashes her hair in slo-mo as she drinks, seduces, and misbehaves in the requisite montage. She struts; she flirts. Everything is fun and games.
Until it isn’t. When DID I? exits the movie fantasy it quickly becomes frighteningly real.
Tice and Beckler move DID I? into a third act that is dark, disturbing, and hopelessly harrowing. Flashbacks crack like a mirror, a metaphorical device Tice uses with brilliance. Genevieve’s disorder, as revealed, stems from the absolute worst form of abuse. She relives that personal terror and confronts evil at its most base. Her survival is worthy of applause as Tice’s script brings respect and honor to those afflicted with the disorder.
Produced with a microscopic budget of $10k, Tice wields digital resources like a pro to create a cinematic mindscape that looks big budget fresh. The script is tight and Pica is absolutely ready for her closeup. As for whatever comes next, Tice can easily answer her follow up with a confident, “Oh yeah.”