The opening visuals of Aaron Katz’s neo-noir mystery, Gemini, are palm trees turned upside-down, silhouetted by the blue aura of the twilight skies. Accompanied by the electronic synth score, it sets the stage for an edgy, mysterious and sexy 90 minutes. It starts out strong, but as Gemini moves along and unwinds itself, it becomes apparent that it doesn’t have very much to say. The screenplay lacked control over the tonal consistency and failed to capture any meaningful level of depth that the gorgeous Nicolas Winding Refn inspired visuals and hypnotic score could not do much to save this film from being a slog.
Gemini begins with Jill (Lola Kirke), a personal assistant for Heather (Zoë Kravitz), one of the most famous actresses in Hollywood going through a rough patch of partying and avoiding her responsibilities. In the prologue of the film, Jill helps Heather avoid reshoots, encounter an invasive fan, avoid paparazzi and drives Heather to a karaoke night with her secret girlfriend. This first act is as interesting and compelling as the film gets. Introducing us to a number of different faces and establishing their direct relationships with Heather, the film allows us to take a look into the celebrity culture of L.A. and makes us feel for Heather’s lack of privacy through the way she interacts with other characters. Although expositional for the murder mystery to unfold, the first act does a lot to give us context for Jill and Heather as friends and foreshadows a seductive darkness of L.A. nightlife.