Dead Ringers: The Criterion Collection
The Mantle Brothers are twins. Twin gynecologists. This sounds like the plot of a cheap '80s sex comedy, but in the hands of director David Cronenberg, it is a sad, intense dissection of a very unhealthy symbiotic relationship. Jeremy Irons plays both Beverly and Elliot Mantle, identical twins who run a posh gynecological clinic. Their congenital fascination with birth-related mutations has made them a natural success in their field, but when both of them strike up a relationship with a barren actress, their psycho-Siamese dependency is irreparably damaged. Irons acts his dual role with precision, and Cronenberg's mastery of disturbing material is unequalled. Technically, the film is brilliant, but Cronenberg's cool, clinical approach to his subject keeps the audience a bit too detached. Female viewers may also be unsettled by certain props: Bev Mantle invents gynecological instruments for operating on mutant women. Haunting, beautiful score by Howard Shore. This new digital transfer is presented in Cronenberg' s preferred 1.66 widescreen, with Dolby 2.0 audio. Extras include a commentary track with insights from Cronenberg, Irons, editor Ronald Sanders, production designer Carol Spier, and director of photography Peter Suschitzky, production notes, theatrical trailers, the original designs for the opening title sequence, "Mathematics in Metal" and "Instruments for Operating on Mutant Women," a still gallery of drawings and photographs of the sculptures and medical instruments designed for the film, twinning effect/motion control footage, and the electronic press kit, including a trailer and a featurette.
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