The Mimic is unlike any film you’ve ever seen. Thomas Mazziotti’s off-the-wall film deals with the uneasy vibe you get from certain people whose personality and behaviour is just a little off-centre. Any efforts to put a name to that imperceptible strangeness or distance yourself from their toxicity is thwarted by their inexplicable pull on others.
The quirky film centres around the sardonic, chain-smoking nameless Narrator (Thomas Sadoski) whose world is turned upside down by a young man he calls the Kid (Jake Robinson). A series of ridiculous events unfold, disrupting the Narrator’s participation in the community newspaper, and become even more complicated when the widowed Narrator begins to fall for the Kid’s wife (kept off-screen). Despite the Kid’s goofy and enthusiastic exterior, the Narrator sets out to resolve his suspicions that the Kid is a sociopath. The Mimic also features a strong supporting cast with recognisable actors such as Jessica Walter, Tammy Blanchard, Marilu Henner, Gina Gershon and M. Emmet Walsh, to name a few.
Despite the short running time, Mazziotti’s talky script makes the film feel longer; the dialogue is a winding jumble of screwball comedy-esque rapport and half-baked zingers seesawed between the Narrator and the Kid. Robinson and Sadoski handle the rapid-fire, intellectual sparring with a balletic ease. The pair offset each other nicely; Robinson’s captivating, wide-eyed stare that appears to be both sinister and naive clearly teeters Sadoski’s already shaky mental stability. Without Robinson and Sadoski’s impeccable performances, the film’s witty intelligence would not come through as clearly. Their electric banter enables viewers to appreciate the film’s theatrical sensibility. Despite some of the winking cleverness of the script, The Mimic has an expressive, almost surrealistic direction that captivates the viewer. Mazziotti interweaves fantasy and reality by continually breaking the fourth wall or using bold, painting-like imagery to frame his quirky characters. The Mimic is verbally florid yet has little to really say about sociopathy, but there’s no denying the uniqueness of Mazziotti’s vision.
The Mimic is available for purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD now
by Caroline Madden
Caroline is the author of Springsteen as Soundtrack. Her favourite films include Dog Day Afternoon, Baby It’s You, Inside Llewyn Davis, and The Lord of the Rings. She is the Editor in Chief of Video Librarian. She has an MA degree in Cinema Studies from SCAD. You can follow her on Twitter @crolinss.