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The Nines
Genre Mystery
Year: 2007

The Nines tells the story of an actor who has a nervous breakdown, a writer who loses his grip on a TV show and a stranded video game designer start to find their stories intertwine in the most mysterious and puzzling manner. It's a film that combines the best of Donnie Darko with The Number 23. If you’ve watched Donnie Darko, you’ll find familiarity with the same feeling experienced at the end of The Nines. There’s a mixture of elation and confusion that surrounds the film, in which you’ll think you have the answer, but you only have a version. The Number 23 uncovered a worldwide phenomenon around the number, and its importance with everything.

In The Nines, a similiar fascination absorbs the main character(s) played by Ryan Reynolds. He becomes obsessed with the number and its significance. However, The Nines is more metaphysical than Donnie Darko and The Number 23. Writer/director John August combines three short stories into one film. Each character finds himself in a world, next door to the previous one with a collection of familiar faces. The quest is to find some truth in the connectedness, which will lead him to ‘The Nines’.

Cast the mystery aside, and you’ll realise the talent of Ryan Reynolds. The actor has three distinct characters and thirty-three minutes to convince the audience that each one is real. He’s mastered the comedy domain, and has had a similar arc to Jim Carrey’s career. Reynolds commands each role with dignity, and one has got to question August’s intentions by allowing Reynolds to play three-in-one. He’s the actor, the writer and the creator as though he were a step down from 10.

John August’s movie has been described as a ‘metaphysical funhouse’, and the movie thrives on 30 minute TV time intervals for each story to unfold. You can expect to be mesmerised, and drawn into the film with every scene. The Nines will leave you with questions, and this would be a good movie to see with a couple of friends, or a couple of times. August claims The Nines is the sort of film that you’ll probably ‘get’ at 2am. Whether you ‘get it’ or not, is not important. The Nines delivers strong performances, a riveting story, visionary writing, sensible direction and spiritual themes to rival Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Groundhog Day, The Matrix and Donnie Darko.

The bottom line: Thought-provoking.

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