Dot the I

  Dot the I
"Loved your work in 'Chicago'."

© 2003, Summit Entertainment
All Rights Reserved

On the eve of her wedding, Carmen (Natalia Verbeke, "Jump Tomorrow") passionately kisses Kit (Gael Garcia Bernal, "The Motorcycle Diaries"), a stranger she meets during her "hen" party. Deeply smitten, Kit desires to learn more about Carmen, following her around with his video camera to capture her beauty. Carmen agrees to meet with Kit, and the two begin a heated and forbidden relationship, which drives Carmen's fiance (James D'Arcy) mad with jealousy.

Writer/director Matthew Parkhill presents a tall order with his filmmaking debut, "Dot the I" (IMDb listing). His wacky hodgepodge of romance, stalking, sexual power, and revenge starts off conventionally, promising an easy film to swallow boosted by a decent international cast. We have the usual independent film suspects, including the hipster soundtrack, the unwashed bohemian characters, and the occasional gun draw. However, after arranging his pawns in familiar ways, Parkhill flips on the plot twist machine, and "Dot the I" becomes excruciatingly ridiculous in a multitude of ways.

Parkhill has big ideas for his picture, possibly too big. The filmmaker wants to explore the emotional exploitation between lovers in a romantic relationship, which eventually unfolds into a damnation of reality television. Yes, you read that right. Parkhill has lofty aspirations for his messages, but none of them come together. By turning his film into an elaborate game, he instantly kills any emotional connection to the characters, as well as making himself just as manipulative as the so-called "evil" characters found in the film. "Dot the I" eventually snowballs into complete nonsense by the end, tossing in some rotund plot leaps that confuse as much as they annoy.

While it does feature the English-language debut for acclaimed actor Gael Garcia Bernal, that's pretty much it in terms of interesting qualities for "Dot the I." Parkhill doesn't have the experience to balance his forgettable tricks and misdirection, and his reality entertainment theme was already incredibly bullet-riddled before he decided to take it on.

Filmfodder Grade: D