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DVD Review: Between

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In Between, Chicago-based lawyer Nadine (played by television’s Without a Trace star Poppy Montgomery) learns her sister has gone missing in Tijuana, Mexico. Against the advice of her loving but unsupportive husband (played by Adam Kaufman, who has had recurring roles in television’s Dawson’s Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Veronica Mars), Nadine heads south of the border to search for her sibling. Finding the local police to be of no help, she soon begins to suspect that they may have something to hide.

Eventually, she convinces Detective Gustavo Campos (played by Jose Yenque, of the film Traffic) to become her ally. Following a series of odd occurrences, including the suspicious arrival of her husband, Nadine finds herself going down a twisting path of mystery and intrigue where she must question exactly what is real, what is fantasy, and what lies between.

Poppy Montgomery does a great job of carrying the bulk of this film as the central character and manages to be simultaneously vulnerable and tough. The locations for the film are beautiful and vibrant, and give viewers a great feel for what it’s like to wander through a strange city, interacting with people who speak another language. (Confusion is a continuous theme in this film.)

With a running time of a mere 86 minutes, Between is presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16×9. The sole extra is commentary with director/writer/producer David Ocanas (this was his directorial debut). The film was written by Robert Nelms and Ocanas.

The first cut of Between was screened at Sundance in 2005 (it was an Official Selection that year), with only 21 days of cutting and rough sound/music. The film was completed nine months later, at which time it began selling, and has since shown on Lifetime Television Network.

In the vein of The Sixth Sense and Memento, Between is about seeing what you want to see and believing what you want to believe. The plot takes a sudden turn toward the end that, in hindsight, brings closure to the plot and allows all of the apparently disjointed actions of Nadine to finally make sense.

Between seems to start off in one direction (albeit slowly). Just when you think you have it all figured out, the plot twists and slips through your fingers. When the major plot twist is finally revealed, it’s as much a surprise to the main character as it is to the viewers, and that’s what makes for a great mystery/thriller film.

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