It's rare when you watch a film that will evoke a guttural and visceral emotional reaction that will surprise even yourself as a viewer. Be ready for "The Imposter"
Directed by Bart Layton
"The Imposter" is a chilling factual thriller that chronicles the story of a 13-year-old boy who disappears without a trace from San Antonio, Texas in 1994. Three and a half years later he is found alive, thousands of miles away in a village in southern Spain with a story of kidnapping and torture. His family is overjoyed to bring him home. But all is not quite as it seems. The boy bears many of the same distinguishing marks he always had, but why does he now have a strange accent? Why does he look so different? Any why doesn't the family seem to notice these glaring inconsistencies? It's only when an investigator starts asking questions that this strange tale takes an even stranger turn. The stranger than fiction mystery, which features many twists and turns, is told in a cinematic language that combines documentary and stylized visualizations. Perception is challenged at every turn, and just as the truth begins to dawn on you, another truth merges leaving you even more on edge.
Never has a documentary taken on such a visually bold and stunning style that plays with ideas of memories and the subjective version of events. In his feature debut, director Bart Layton infuses a real theatrical sense of drama into the proceedings that add to the air of intrigue and mystery surrounding this whole story. His unique sense of style through the use of some stunningly shot recreations as well as stock footage along with various interviews with all involved are assembled in such a fashion that we feel like we are dropped into the middle of a very emotional story from all fronts. Layton marks himself in this film as a real talent to watch as this blend of fact and drama meshed so well together it makes a for a fairly bold statement in the world of filmmaking as rarely are the reactions to a factual story so incredibly vibrant generated from an audiences genuine emotion.
The special features on this DVD release include an extensive making of documentary about the documentary that you will want to watch as soon as the film is finished.
While divulging even the slightest detail in this remarkable true story would defeat the purpose of this story that is simply better than fiction, anyone who has ever been doubtful or on the fence about the inherent entertainment value of a documentary film needs to track down a copy of "The Imposter", watch it and then they will know how wrong they were.
5 out of 5 stars.