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IMDb has this summary of Identity:
Strangers from all different walks of life: a limo driver escorting a movie star, parents with a young son, a cop transporting a convict, a prostitute, a young couple, and a motel manager are caught up in a nasty rainstorm. Why they're caught up is that they're stuck a motel in desolate Nevada. But soon they realize they may be at the motel for a reason when one by one, people start getting killed off. As tensions flare and fingers are pointed, they have to get to the bottom of why they're there. While in an undisclosed location, a psychiatrist is trying to prove the innocence of a man accused of murder in an eleventh hour trial. How these two scenarios are related can only be found in Identity.
I'd like to talk about this movie from two points of view-as a move and as a movie about multiplicity. Let me start with the first.
Now, I knew the general plot before watching Identity, so I can't say for sure if anyone would be surprised by the fact that the killer is diagnosed with "multiple personality disorder". From my vantage point, I think they gave the whole thing away in the beginning. There are obvious visual clues, and I think, although I may be misremembering, the psychiatrist who is advocating for a stay of execution for the killer by claiming he has multiple personalities actually spells this out fairly early on.
The only thing that might keep you wondering what's going on is that the killer is on death row because he murdered a bunch of people in a motel. So you might possibly think that the cuts to the strangers who end up in a motel together and are then mysteriously killed off are actually flashbacks. Maybe.
The movie has a good cast: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, and so on. The acting is good, and the part of the movie that takes place at the motel is creepy in a good thriller-movie way. And I do admit we had no idea who the real killer was, so that was pretty cool. But the plot point that brings both sides of the film together was very stupid. It turns out all the people in the motel (who are, in "reality," just personalities in the killer's mind) have the same birthdays. When they discover this, they begin to realize something is amiss. We don't know any multiples where everyone shares a birthday, although I suppose it's possible. But it seemed totally contrived and idiotic.
As for the multiple aspect of the movie, it was dreadful. Obviously, the set up is the traditional one -- a child was traumatized and his personality split into fragments. Yawn. One of those personalities is a killer. Double yawn. Malcolm Rivers is on death row for multiple murders (no pun). His psychiatrist and lawyer believe it is unfair to kill someone who didn't commit the crime, so they reopen the case, on the basis of a diary of Malcolm's that shows the writings of many different people that had been misfiled and was therefore not available in the original trial, to make their case to the judge.
I have no problem with this particular point. The psychiatrist somehow calls John Cusack's character to come out, and convinces him he is "only in someone's head" (I'm not sure why he believed him so readily, though). The psychiatrist proves his case to the judge's satisfaction that Malcolm isn't the killer, and John Cusack goes back "inside" to kill off the "personality" who did the motel murders "in real life" AND at the motel in "Malcolm's head". There is a stay of execution. Malcolm is to be transported to a mental hospital, instead. (I'm not really sure why, because, as far as anyone can tell, there's only one personality left by this time. Cusack's character dies while getting rid of the "bad" guy, and I was never certain if Malcolm existed as a separate person or not.)
The very end of the movie, though, is both really good from a scary thriller point of view and very bad for anyone's understanding of multiplicity. It turns out Cusack and the psychiatrist were wrong about who the killer was. So the killer shows up again to murder the one "good" personality that's left, take over Malcolm's body, kill a couple of policemen and probably rum amok. We can only guess, as the movie ends there.
As I said, this was a surprise to us, so a good plot point, but a very bad message about being multiple. In fact, the conclusion one might draw from this is you should always execute anyone on death row who claims to be multiple since you never know who's "in there."
I can't recommend this movie, even though it did give us some enjoyment. We went into it with our eyes open, knowing the basic premise, which is stupid and dangerous. Since I've spoiled you by writing this review, I can't imagine any reason for you to go see it now.