The Unsaid (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

The hallmark of the new millennium: copying Edward Norton's performances from the previous millennium.
  • In The Believer, Ryan Gosling did a great impersonation of Norton in American History X.
  • In The Unsaid, Vicent Kartheiser does a great impersonation of Norton in Primal Fear.


Sarah Deakins is topless in several flashbacks, as Kartheiser's mother in the traumatic childhood incident.

Kartheiser plays a mental patient who may or may not be released into general society in a few weeks. He seems completely healthy and well adjusted. In fact, he already has the freedom to leave the mental health facility on a limited basis, but the resident shrink knows that as a young boy her patient experienced trauma when his father killed his mother, and the psychiatrist feels that the boy has never really dealt with this in a healthy way. The local shrink calls in an expert psychiatrist (Andy Garcia) whose judgment of Kartheiser will be critical to the release decision.

The kid researches his new shrink's own hot buttons, and then uses them to manipulate Garcia's decision. It seems that Garcia recently lost his own son to suicide, and Kartheiser uses the shrink's grief and guilt to offer himself up to Garcia as a substitute son. Like Edward Norton's character in Primal Fear, the patient seems as innocent as an altar boy, but his manipulations reveal that he may be hiding and/or repressing rage at great depths within his subconscious.

It plays out as a psychodrama in which Garcia must dig deeper and deeper into the facts of the father/mother incident in order to get beyond Kartheiser's facade. The investigation of the mother/father incident ends with a secret which is the key to Kartheiser's personality. While the secret is not difficult to guess, and some of the aspects of Kartheiser's personality could have been keep hidden longer to manage the suspense better, the childhood secret adds an extra layer of mystery to a complex plot which includes several sublayers:

  • It turns out that Garcia also has a facade of his own to strip away, related to the death of his own son.
  • At the same time he is working on the evaluation, Garcia must protect his own friends and family from someone who may be a brilliant, murderous young man pretending to be cured, because the patient knows that Garcia's recommendation is crucial, and the possibility of a negative verdict could trigger a rage reaction from the young man.

DVD info from Amazon

  • Widescreen anamorphic 1.85:1.

  • No features.

This film is not without merit.

Garcia and Kartheiser do a great job in the leads, and the story is not bad at all. Although the film was never released theatrically in the United States, the acting alone lifts it a cut above the usual level of straight-to-video offerings and that, combined with a decent psychological mystery and a beautiful widescreen transfer, make it a pretty solid rental if you have a taste for a film that takes itself and everything in life very seriously.

The Critics Vote

  • no English language reviews online

The People Vote ...


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this film is a C. The IMDb score reflects it well. It is not a very original idea or a difficult mystery to solve, but it is played out competently by some good actors.

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