The third act of writer-director Nelson Kim's Someone Else eases into a Russian-doll dreamscape where dreams inside of dreams inside of dreams destabilize any sense of reality and force viewers into a reconsideration of everything that has come before. The result is a tense, unexpectedly moving psychological study of a man's unraveling that initially seems a much simpler tale. Korean-American law-student Jamie (Aaron Yoo) arrives in New York to work as a summer associate at a prestigious firm, leaving his family home in Virginia to crash with his charming, womanizing, druggie cousin Will (Leonardo Nam). Almost immediately, straitlaced Jamie is swimming in cocaine and awkwardly chatting up Kat (Jackie Chung), a beautiful friend of Will's.
The story hits the expected marks as Jamie slips off the shackles of being "the good one," becomes addicted to drugs and starts failing at his job as his cousin nudges him on from the sidelines. A double punch of betrayal from Will brings everything crashing down, but also pivots Someone Else into a psychologically complex register as the story twists back on itself and takes off in surprising and tragic directions. Kim keeps a firm hand on the fast-moving proceedings as his cast nimbly and impressively walks the narrative tightrope he's laid out for them.
Nelson KimAaron Yoo, Leonardo Nam, Jackie Chung, Stephen Park, Louis Ozawa ChangchienNelson KimGeoffrey Quan, Brandon Harris