Gemini is Aaron Katz’s pacy nouveau noir murder mystery is set in the movies-obsessed community in and around Los Angeles.
Double Troubleby Alexa Dalby
CAUTION: Here be spoilers
When a demanding and capricious minor film star is found dead in her luxurious Hollywood Hills home one morning, her personal assistant is suspected of her murder. Heather (Zoë Kravitz) was indeed a real, though charming, pain but she and practical, patient Jill (Lola Kirke) really did seem to be best friends as well as working closely together to further Heather’s career, and anyway the evidence the police found was only circumstantial.
Targeted by the cops, in the person of persistent Detective Ahn (John Cho), who seems to pop up everywhere she goes, Jill disguises herself in order to make her own investigations, find who the murderer really is – so many people have said they’d like to kill Heather after she walked out of filming that there’s no shortage of suspects – and prove her innocence.
In filmmaking Los Angeles, there’s a thin dividing line between reality and fiction. Her quest takes in screenwriter Greg (Nelson Franklin), who gives his opinion on who the killer would be based on how he’d write the screenplay; Heather’s enigmatic fashion model lover Jamie (Michelle Forbes); and Heather’s on-off rock-star boyfriend Devin (Reeve Carney). There’s also an obsessive fan to track down (Levy Tran) and persistent paparazzi personified by Stan (James Ransone) to shake off.
Gemini looks good, it’s shot in places like a music video, it’s a fresh take on the noir trope with its setting in modern-day media-obsessed Los Angeles, and it’s enjoyable entertainment until it runs out of steam towards the end. Kravitz and Kirke perform well, but John Cho seems underused in his role and his character could have had the potential to generate more tension as the cops close in. Worth a watch though.
Gemini screens at the 61st BFI London Film Festival on 8, 9 and 11 October 2017.