Coming to theatres from director Dustin Marcellino and City of Peace Films comes a touching family story when talking about THE IDENTICAL.
This film tells the story of a family during the Great Depression. It’s 1936 when William (Brian Geraghty) and Helen Hemsley (Amanda Crew) give birth to twin boys. Unable to raise both babies, they decide that Evangelist Reece Wade (Ray Liotta) and his wife Louise (Ashley Judd) should take one of the boys. William has Reese make a promise to not tell the boys about one another until after there death.
The years pass as Ryan Wade (Blake Rayne) is raised in the faith with a father that wants him to follow in the Lord. Ryan has other dreams as music calls to his every waking moment putting together a band with friend Dino (Seth Green). Disappointed in his son’s decision, both parents eventually see that there is something more in the world for their son.
Drexel Hemsely (also Blake Rayne) grew up to make a music name for himself right away. Everyone keeps comparing Ryan and Drexel! Billing Ryan as “The Identical”, he finally breaks away to make his own music and follow his own dream.
But there is something that haunts Ryan!
FINAL WORD: Rayne as both Ryan and Drexel is a soft spoken Elvis looking young man who carries both roles very well. As Drexel he is a tortured star who also can not place the part of him that feels missing. As Ryan, Rayne holds back for the longest and then breaks free.
Liotta as Wade takes the baby boy and embraces his son. Wanting to do what’s best for the family he still hopes that Ryan will find his path. I just love when Liotta surprises me and in THE IDENTICAL, he does just that.
Judd as Louise believes in her son knowing someday the truth will have to be told. Judd turns in a motherly performance that is supportive. Green as friend Dino is an interesting character in that I’m so use to Green doing something outrageous and in this film the most of that is seeing him with long hair.
Other cast include: Noah Urrea as Young Ryan, Waylon Payne as Tony Nash, J. Karen Thomas as Annie, Erin Cottrell as Jenny O’Brien, Danny Woodburn as Damon, and Joe Pantoliano as Avi Hirschberg.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE IDENTICAL three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Truly the music is really good and I enjoyed it. This is a family film with all the themes of love, the dysfunction that secrets can bring and forgiveness.
There are touching moments from the very beginning and it doesn’t stop through the entire film. This isn’t a hard hitting film but instead more of a story that needs to let itself be told.
The casting truly brings the story to life. The costumes design are true in the beginning during the depression era but, to be honest, get a little strange towards the end. Not that it’s a problem but I did notice it. The attempt here to bring a ‘what if’ to a musical twin story doesn’t go unnoticed as well as most people know Elvis Presley had a twin that sadly died at birth.
Faith based films are becoming more and more popular with families looking for an alternative to what is currently in theatres. I do understand the want for more family-faith films and with such films as HEAVEN IS REAL released several weeks ago, THE IDENTICAL is next for families to see together.
In the end – they has a dream and no one can stop them!