“Fractured,” directed by Brad Anderson (“The Machinist”), is a psychological thriller meant to make viewers doubt themselves and their observations. It follows Ray Monroe, played by Sam Worthington (“Avatar”), in a hospital that has no record of his six-year-old daughter having ever been admitted.
Though the movie begins slowly, it’s well worth the wait. Throughout the entire first quarter of the movie, the film is saturated with dark, muted colors, slowly-building piano music and unnerving action that makes the audience aware of the trauma that awaits. When it does, it takes a turn that no one is expecting.
Worthington’s dedication to the portrayal of Ray Monroe is what makes the story and character so believable. The movie centers around this man, lost and confused in a rather terrifying and unnatural situation, which makes Worthington’s role crucial to making the story plausible and moving it forward. Because we see events unfold from his perspective, we are naturally seeing what he sees, believing what he believes. The audience can’t help but side with him, and that’s the point. “Fractured” makes the audience sympathize with a man lost in a confusing world, then makes them doubt him and then brings it back to sympathy (before finally ending with doubt once more).
While there are surely other stories and movies that are similar in plot and maybe even in direction, the unsettling nature of this film is truly what makes it stand out. The film is purposefully slow and dragged-out so as to make the audience wonder how it will end. And after a solid ending begins to slowly form and the audience begins to feel confident in their understanding of how the plot will unfold, the movie takes a turn that is wholly unexpected at the time and yet completely predictable after the fact.
The ending, though not completely satisfying in the traditional way, is somehow perfect. It drives home the idea that no one can really understand anything or believe what is even right in front of his or her face, which makes it completely satisfying in its own right. The chilling final scene left me in shock as I wondered how I missed something so obvious. Coupled with Worthington’s stellar performance as Ray Monroe, that single moment of shock and wonderment makes the movie worth watching.