Aaron Katz’s Gemini is a film that should be seen as offering social commentary on media in the digital age.
When Heather (Zoë Kravitz) decides she doesn’t want to work on an upcoming movie, her assistant, Jill (Lola Kirke), soon finds herself in hot water. It’s not because of anything that Jill did. In fact, it’s because of coming back to Heather’s home and finding a dead body on the ground. It paves the way for Detective Ahn (John Cho) to be involved and the drama soon shifts into a modern-day Los Angeles-set noir. Ahn has his own agenda but Jill has to stay ahead of the game before someone else figures it all out.
Heather and Jill have both a professional relationship but are also good friends. Where does the work end and friendship begin? This leads to a somewhat messy plot but everything starts to make sense.
Gemini also serves as Katz’s commentary on today’s digital age. A stan (obsessive fan) of Heather’s, Sierra (Jessica Parker Kennedy), wants to hang out with her and Jill at the diner. It’s one thing to ask for a photo but to join the two at the table is taking things a bit too far. This paves the way for commentary not just on the paparazzi but also Instagram. Heather isn’t happy with the combo of her career and the digital age so she’s making a change. It’s a change that has drastic results for the other people involved but it’s the right decision.
The film gives actress Lola Kirke an opportunity to take on a starring role. Sure, Kirke is competing against the beautiful scenery that is Hollywood but that’s beside the point. She’s every bit as talented as her sister, Jemima, and her performance in Gemini is proof as such. From the very beginning of the film through the end of it, Kirke has the makings of a star.
Even as Los Angeles plays a character in its own right, cinematographer Andrew Reed goes against the grain. He makes this film his own in a sense by opting for a different look of the town. The scope of the film feels very rich in color. Keegan Dewitt’s score is one that pays homage to the 1980s and 1990s thrillers but with a contemporary sense.
With it’s social commentary and star-making turn from Lola Kirke, Gemini makes for a fresh take on the murder mystery.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Aaron Katz
CAST: Lola Kirke, Zoë Kravitz, and John Cho
Following its world premiere at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, Neon opened Gemini in theaters on March 30, 2018 with an expansion to follow.