New on DVD: Cold Souls

New on DVD: Cold Souls

Cold Souls takes a very science fiction concept to a new metaphysical level, moving from the physical realm to the spiritual. The idea of absorbing, exchanging or replacing one’s emotions or thoughts with someone else’s is not new; however, to propose the same can be accomplished through a person’s soul is unique. During rehearsals for […]

Cold Souls takes a very science fiction concept to a new metaphysical level, moving from the physical realm to the spiritual. The idea of absorbing, exchanging or replacing one’s emotions or thoughts with someone else’s is not new; however, to propose the same can be accomplished through a person’s soul is unique.

During rehearsals for Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, Paul Giamatti (Paul Giamatti) finds his soul is growing very heavy under the weight of the material and his entire life is suffering for it. When he hears of a doctor who extracts and stores souls, he decides to undergo the procedure. Then, for a small additional fee he installs a poet’s soul and enhances his performance. Unburdened, Paul’s life becomes easygoing – and entirely intolerable. He returns to the doctor demanding his soul back, but it appears the Russian black market beat him to it.

It’s interesting that Giamatti is playing the actor Paul Giamatti, even though this is in no way a documentary or biopic. Furthermore, based on previous performances, it’s difficult to view him as a thespian struggling so vehemently with a role. Then again, the entire concept of the film is slightly beyond comprehension, so it fits.

The movie’s idea is very intriguing; however the execution is often somewhat boring. The hunt for Giamatti’s soul is anti-climactic and the black market is less seedy, more pawn shop-like. The Russian characters are typed and extrapolated from other films, but they don’t entirely fit this film.

Special features include: deleted scenes and a “Soul Extractor” featurette.