There was a time when Halle Berry could do no wrong. During this period Berry won an Oscar, starred in a Bond movie, got paid half a million dollars for a topless scene, and she also starred in the X-Men franchise.
Back then, she was Hollywood’s go to girl. But if you look back, that period may have been successfull for her, but there a lot of cracks in the armor. It was just a matter of time before things unraveled?, and that started with “Gothika.”
“Gothika.” is a psychothriller that doesn’t make any sense. The movie is by French director Mathieu Kassovitz, and stars Halle Berry; Robert Downey Jr. (Whatever happened to that guy?). The film also stars Charles S. Dutton; and Penelope Cruz.
Halle Berry plays Miranda Grey, a psychiatrist in a prison. She works alongside fellow shrink Pete Graham (Robert Downey Jr.) and is newly wed to her boss, Dr. Douglas Grey (Charles S. Dutton). This was a nice change of pace: The beautiful woman married to the older overweight guy.
During the movie’s obligatory dark and stormy night, Miranda takes a detour and swerves to avoid a ghostly, ghastly girl standing in the middle of the road, who for some reason bursts into flames. When she wakes up, Miranda is a prisoner in her own institution and Pete breaks the news to her: She’s accused of the brutal murder of her husband.
Of course the jolly fat guy get axed early on. Haven’t we suffered enough?!?
But how can this be? Miranda tries to remember, but her mind is a total blank. Chloe (Penelope Cruz), a former patient, now a fellow inmate, explains the rules to her: Now that Miranda diagnosed as insane, it doesn’t matter what she says, because it will be dismissed as crazy talk.
The movie introduces other characters, including Sheriff Ryan (John Carroll Lynch) and Phil Parsons (Bernard Hill), the prison warden. We are teased with the possibility that any of them, or Pete, could be behind Miranda’s imprisonment. Miranda tries to reason her way free. “Did we have an affair?” she asks Pete. “Did you want to?” Downey replies.
I think by this point RDJ had realized this movie was gonna be a big waste of his talents.
While Miranda copes with her new life in the hospital, the ghost uses her body to carry out messages. For example, she carves the words “not alone” into Miranda’s arm, which not surprisingly leads her former colleagues to believe Miranda is suicidal and is inflicting the wounds on herself. Considering how bad this script was, I’m shocked one of the doctor didn’t call for jumper cables.
Anyways, Miranda begins regaining her memories bit by bit, and slowly comes to remember herself killing her husband. Somehow she realizes that the ghost used her body to murder Douglas, thus making Miranda the patsy for his murder. Which is why all of the physical evidence points to Miranda.
After this bombshell, Miranda escapes the hospital, to seek clues to the mystery of why she killed her husband. This lead me to ask a very simple question: Why didn’t she escape earlier?
A trip to Rhose Island follows, but I’m not really sure what happened there, or how the cops showed up so fast. All is finally explained (more or less) in a series of climaxes, including one where Miranda uses her doctor powers to figure out the truth.
The problem is that all these scenes leave more questions than answers, like: How did the ghost of the girl trigger Miranda’s blackout? Is it possible the murders summoned the ghost? And what in heaven’s name are Robert Downey Jr. and Penelope Cruz doing here?