Director Jose Rico weaves a labyrinthine maze of twisting dialogue and imagery in this piece about a girl struggling with her past and disoriented mind. The film is about simultaneous dualities. The triple mirror shot early in the piece establishes Scarlett’s triple manifestations which move through the heaven-hell-purgatory trifecta of suburbia-medieval stoneway-mental institute. All of the locations have no specific time association, each is disorienting in its own right, from the odd hyper-normalcy of the suburban town to sterility of the psych ward, leaving behind more questions for the viewer. The macguffin of the ring progresses us through these locations, while the other characters, each having double and triple roles, hint at the story.
The dialogue dances between poetry and philosophical discourse, with all verbal exchanges in question – answer format. The heightened, syncopated language calls to mind an almost Shakespearian whimsicality, again reflecting Scarlett’s disoriented mind. The main male acts as a riddle-spewing Chesire Cat and seems to act as Scarlett’s guide… Or is he? Their exchanges expound on the film’s main themes of time and reality, the shifting ephemeral nature of each.
The film is loaded with subliminalities that are extremely easy to overlook. Quick cutaways early on hint at the past and present realities undermining the apparent serene imagery. The characters’ movements through the locations also have significance: the dark stone way mirrors the aisles of the mental institute with baby eaters and hand bangers tucked away in the corners, or room-cells. The characters also walk in straight lines regardless of location, again referencing the psych ward.
Scarlett searches for her twin sister Ytinas, her body double. Ytinas represents Scarlett’s sanity. She finds that Ytinas is dead at present, mirroring her own sanity.
This is a cleverly written film heavily focused on poetic imagery. This film is an intellectual labyrinth that reveals itself through multiple viewings. We’ve watched it several times while writing this review and have probably missed much. But, conjuring conjecture. We give this film an IRON REEL. If we had more aggressive metals to dole out, we would.