Loss of memory or even amnesia is one of my few fears. Just the thought of awakening and not knowing who I was or my surroundings shakes me to my core. And in Dan Bush’s THE RECONSTRUCTION OF WILLIAM ZERO, they play with this concept but take it so much further.
Bush, one of the directors behind 2007’s THE SIGNAL, returns to the science fiction thriller genre, along with THE SIGNAL actors Scott Poythress and AJ Bowen in minor but pivotal roles. But the true star of WILLIAM ZERO is another Bush conspirator, Conal Byrne, who worked with him on FIGHTFUCKPRAY. Byrne, besides starring, also co-wrote this film, and with good reason, he owns this.
Following a brutal loss, William Blakely (Byrne) is awoken by his twin brother (also Byrne), not remembering his own identity, not even remembering how to eat cereal. His twin goes through mental rehabilitation processes to ease him back into the process of remembering who he is, when William starts to suspect that there may be more going on.
Dealing with some bigger concepts but on a modest scale, the film does a great job of showcasing both drama and thrills. With nice little additions like a nosey neighbor, it also brings in a small amount of humor that eases the tension just so.
Byrne is stellar in his roles in the film, really showing off an impressive range, much akin to Tatiana Maslani in the show Orphan Black. It is interesting to be able to see such a defined duality of one’s self presented without obnoxious nods to what they are doing. The handling of the roles is done so subtly that I was sure that there were multiple actors and not just one actor and a body double.
Amy Seimetz plays William’s estranged wife and is wonderful as someone that just wanted support when she needed it most, and feels blindsided when it comes a little too late. Watching her and Byrne interact, you can feel a history that their characters shared, and it’s heart breaking to see things not work for them.
Without going any further into details, I highly recommend checking out THE RECONSTRUCTION OF WILLIAM ZERO. It will keep you thinking and get your pulse pounding as well.
THE RECONSTRUCTION OF WILLIAM ZERO is available April 10th in theaters and VOD from FilmBuff.