Danika

"OK"

Danika Review


Danika Merrick (Marisa Tomei) is a young suburban mother with a large family and an over-active imagination. When the brutal armed robbery of the bank in which she works winds up being nothing more than a really vivid hallucination, Danika decides to stay home and spend more time with the family -- much to her teenaged children's consternation. More hallucinations follow -- a missing and murdered girl, a terrorist attack on a school bus, a severed head in the fridge - and with each fresh jolt of psychosis, Danika's world gets smaller and less grounded in reality. She keeps a close eye on her kids and becomes obsessed with their budding sexuality. Danika worries about the faithfulness of her husband and the age of her psychiatrist. Pills follow. Nerves jangle. While everyone around her -- including the cops -- is convinced Danika's off her rocker, some of the hallucinations start coming true. Perhaps these aren't mere illusions but premonitions?

Danika is something of a puzzle film. Nearly every sequence contains some hint at the outcome. Some whisper towards the future. At times the approach is engaging, others just irritating. Scripter Joshua Leibner hopes to generate confusion and at the same time lend an almost reverential power to the onscreen happenings. It's like asking, "where is the line between psychosis and divination?" Thankfully the film moves towards a more satisfying conclusion than freshman year philosophy banter. Well, somewhat more satisfying: Every telegraphed shock and twist in Danika has been done before. It doesn't feel old, necessarily, just too familiar. Too comfortable.

It goes without saying that the modern progenitor for all this "is it real?" business was Roman Polanski's Repulsion and director Ariel Vromen plays all the right riffs, just differently. Danika is not a dark film. There are no long shadows or strange angles. Everything is played very straight; this is suburbia after all. The cinematography by Darko Suvak captures the autumnal light and contrasts nicely with the dark undercurrents of the story. But at times the production has a television movie feel. I'm not sure why that is -- perhaps the over-reliance on long shots -- but some sequences appear cheap because of it. They're almost drained of significance. Not a good thing in any movie.

Tomei does a nice job navigating these harrowing waters. She's jumpy, edgy, and at times downright spooky. Craig Bierko (playing her husband Randy) is a good straight man and holds his cards to his chest nicely. The rest of the cast shifts frequently from shock to repulsion, and Vromen knows how to capture their emotions without it all sounding shrill.

Danika is a decent film but not a terribly original one. There is a maze at its center, a labyrinth of twists and shocks, of hallucinations and horrible truths. But like any maze it's what's at the end that matters. Danika battles her own personal Minotaur at the heart of her psychosis to reach a conclusion that while unexpected -- perhaps even shocking -- may not really be worth all the toil.



Danika

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Saturday 10th June 2006

Distributed by: First Look Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Blue Omega Entertainment, Danika LLC, Roberts/David Films, Sententia Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Fresh: 2 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Ariel Vromen

Producer: , John F.K. Parenteau, Mark A. Roberts

Starring: as Danika Merrick, as Lizzie Geralds, Guy Camilleri as Man, Akuyoe Graham as Patricia Guilford, as Bank Robber #1, Jeffrey Nicholas Brown as Bank Robber #2 (as Jeffrey Brown), Ridge Canipe as Brian Merrick, Bailey Hughes as Young Kurt, Ethan Jones as Young Brian, as Young Brian, Kendall Cwik as Lauren (young), Nicki Prian as Lauren Merrick (as Nicky Prian), as Kurt Merrick, as Randy Merrick, as Dr. Evelyn Harris

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.