Tuesday, 18 September 2012
The Imposter is a dark and twisted tale that follows the heartbreaking events of a Texas family who describe their path of betrayal in what was supposed to be the homecoming of their 16 year old son.
Narrated by the perpetrator himself, Frédéric Bourdin invites you to follow his devious yet genius plan to disguise his personality. Frederic claims to be 16 year old teenager Nicholas Barclay who despite disappearing 3 years prior, has now turned up in Spain. With very little known of Frederic Bourdin, the french national labels himself a humble guy who was brought up in unfortunate circumstances. He tries convincing the audience to see a positive motive behind was to become a media sensation.
The concept follows an element of two sides consisting of reenactments from Frederic's trail, to actual footage of his time with his new family. On the other hand, the movie focuses on the bereavement and public outcry as members of the family, including the sister of Nicholas, Carey Gibson. Carey continuously reveals how foolishly tricked she was, as well as numerous relatives being suckered into believing Frederic is 16 year old Nicholas.
Frederic Bourdin's position on the streets had to be convincing, selling the Texas based family a story that might not convince your average Joe, but certainly worked due to an in depth fictional mindset. Frederic sells Carey a 3 year biography of torture and abuse, his pupils being discoloured to prevent him being recognised is just one of many sickening lies from Frederic.
What is originally a straight forward and a surprisingly achievable lie, it is when the story of the boy's return goes viral, inviting people that Frederic and the family did not want. This leads to a nail biting twist and some serious consequences for both Frederic and the Texan family.
Director Bart Layton provided all the ingredients in making a well shot, factual based documentary that unfolds the origin of a qualified fabricator and blending it with a tragic tale of a young boys life. Although the characters involved are highly relevant, one can not help in thinking Bart Layton could have gathered more individuals to explain what is still a mysterious story. Instead, we are left listening to Carey Gibson and the mother who come across annoyingly gullible. In fact they are stupidly fooled into believing they are reunited with Nicholas who, as we can clearly see is not the boy he was 3 years ago. Still, the story is extremely interesting and highly memorable for the narration of Frederic Bourdin who reveals the "in your face" presence that is felt through-out the film as well as the screen your sitting in.
The Imposter is deluding and some what a disgusting portrayal of a con artist that would be forever recognised for misleading an oblivious family awaiting the return of their son, Nicholas Barclay.
Overall; For the lack of documentaries in cinemas, this one, like many, is worth a watch. If you can see past the idiotic family, you will find the Imposter is both enjoyable and very frightening.