TIFF 2015 Review: Jack
What makes Jack so interesting is that, this reviewer at least, did not know much of the true story that went into this telling. So, perversely try to be as uninformed of real-life events as possible when taking in this film.
It is best to reveal the film does feel a little bit like the TV version of Hannibal, but with far less gore on-screen, (much of the action takes place somewhere in the unknown, making its lean running time feel even leaner).
At the heart of Jack is Jack Unterweger himself, played by Austrain actor Johannes Krisch, who even happens to look a little bit like Mads Mikkelsen and wear fine suits. But Elisabeth Scharang’s film is entirely its own creation.
The film is a treatise on memory as well on rehabilitation. The opening scenes pulsate with energy, (and more than a little bit of dread), as it’s almost assured that bad things are going to go down, but what is not exactly clear is how they are going to go down. Is Jack the architect of his destiny, or simply the receiver of a bad situation. In fact, the filmmaker Scharang’s doesn’t make his ambiguity absolutely clear. Despite some charged action onscreen, much of the emotional heft of Jack is confined to the realm of speculation, perhaps to its detriment.
But what is clear in its sense of interpretation is that Jack’s story is worth watching, even though it’s clear there is much more to the story.