Track 29 (Roeg, 1988)

Track 29 (Nicolas Roeg, 1988)

Another film in the hallucinating housewife “genre”. Well, maybe this isn’t a genre, but it feels like there are a lot of these. Usually I find them somewhat interesting and Track 29 is no different. What helps prevent this from sliding down a slippery slope in storytelling is that the hallucination aspect is revealed very early. We don’t spend the entire movie thinking her hallucination is a real person only to be shocked with a twist ending, and this approach allows viewers to fully enter her haunted world. And Roeg has no problem presenting a wild circus, mostly through Gary Oldman’s eccentric performance. He is intrusive, expressive, destructive, and jumps out of a closet naked; it doesn’t get much more wild than that. Then, when you remember these bizarre events are playing out in a world created by a disturbed woman, it becomes a realistic psychological nightmare. This doesn’t get points for being unique (as I said, I’ve seen this type of movie before, plus aesthetically, this isn’t up to Roeg’s usual standards), but it does everything right to avoid the many potential narrative pitfalls.  7.5/10

track 29

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