Faces In A Crowd

Faces In A Crowd is is a 2011 British-Canadian-American crime drama horror thriller film written and directed by Julien Magnat, starring Milla Jovovich, Julian McMahon, David Atrakchi, Michael Shanks, Sandrine Holt, and Sarah Wayne Callies. The film centers around a woman who develops prosopagnosia after being attacked by a serial killer. As she lives with her condition, one in which facial features change each time she loses sight of them, the killer closes in.

Anna is a beautiful and well liked teacher for small kids and who lives with her boyfriend Bryce. One night, after her weekly girls night out with her best friends Francine & Nina – where they go to a posh club, drink martinis while her single friends, rate men by their butts – Anna decides to walk home, despite there being a serial rapist & killer of women loose in the city. She runs into a man killing a woman near a construction section next to a bridge and tries to sneak away without alerting him to the fact that she has seen the murder happening. However, Bryce calls her on the phone and the ringing alerts the killer. While trying to get away from him she falls off the bridge, banging her head hard on a metal piece and falls into the waters. After she is rescued by a passing boat and taken to the hospital and recovers, she finds out that she cannot recognize the faces of Bryce, Nina & Francine. The doctors diagnose her with prosopagnosia and there’s no cure for it. Each time she looks at a person, even a familiar person,  the face changes and she doesn’t recognize them. Even her own face changes each time she looks in the mirror.

Anna goes back to her life but it is difficult and her relationship with Bryce is strained, as even when they are making love, his face changes each time she looks away or closes her eyes and looks back at him. She is unable to function well at her job as she doesn’t recognize the kids and has to rely on name tags. Bryce takes her to the police station where the detective in charge of the serial killer’s investigation, Det. Kerrest has her look at a lineup but she cannot recognize anyone. Kerrest and his colleague Lanyon come off as being rude & obnoxious to Anna, as they don’t believe her illness but Kerrest in particular warms up later on. Anna meets Dr. Lanenkamp, a deaf lip reading psychologist for sessions, and she helps Anna to try and get past her illness by looking for distinguishing marks or noting the clothing pattern & colour. For instance she “tricks” Bryce into thinking that she recognized his face in a group by making a note of his tie colour & design that morning. She is able to make out Francine in a crowded club by her bright red coloured hair and hair cut. However she is able to recognize Det Kerrest face outright the next time she goes to the police station. On hearing this Kerrest has Lanyon round out a few more suspects for Anna to take a look at but she does not recognize any of the faces.

At a club with Bryce and her friends, she fails to recognize her boyfriend as there is another man with the same tie as Bryce. Angry at her for lying to him, Bryce leaves in a huff. However the killer calls her on his phone, which is with Anna, using her old phone which she had dropped when she was attacked. He taunts her and then kills Francine and frames Bryce by leaving his tie, blood stained and in the loo. The police arrive and Lanyon finds the tie and Bryce is arrested and take to the station while Kerrest takes Anna away for safety to a house in Cole Island. At night the two bond and they have a romantic night having sex. However Anna receives a shock the next morning when she does not recognize Kerrest’s face after he shaved off his goatee – it was the distinctive goatee that made her recognize his face and his face alone among the rest of the crowd. Later they go back to the city and when Kerrest leaves to go the station, Anna gets a message from Bryce, who’s DNA cleared him from being the killer, asking for forgiveness and to meet him for dinner. However it is actually the real killer who has set up Anna and Bryce by sending them both messages. At the hotel he ambushes and kills Bryce and wears his clothes leading Anna outside – she thinks it is him.

By some silly unbelievable coincidence, Kerrest deducts that the killer is actually Lanyon and follows them to the same bridge where Anna was first attacked. In the shoot-out, Lanyon undresses to reveal an outfit similar to Kerrest so that Anna will not be able to tell them apart (What???) and confuses her till the very end. Both Lanyon & Kerrest are shot fatally and they both die. Anna goes to Cole Island and asks for a job transfer there where she begins a new life and later gives birth to a baby girl – ofcourse it is Kerrest’s spawn! She adjusts living with her condition but is however able to recognize only one face – that of her daughter – but it is the face of love! Aww, Hallmark moment. Terrible script and terrible storyline, typical of something you’ll see on Lifetime or Hallmark channels but with a better budget and better actors. They cannot however save this direct to dvd release. 6 outta 10!