"City of Roses" Review

by Mike Helba

I have mixed feelings about "City of Roses".

I feel let down by the portion of the script that focuses on Jeremiah. After a promising beginning in which Jeremiah shows his darker side, the story fails to progress anywhere. Jeremiah cusses out Kurdy and leaves on their mission without him. Does he later confess to Kurdy that he behaved so uncharacteristically because of his rekindled memories of his brother's death? No. He merely claims that he saw no sense in both of them going to an area where they might become ill. The most redeeming quality of Jeremiah's story is a possible clue in the overall arc. While Jeremiah receives a less than forthcoming explanation about where the scientist, Farralon, got his supplies, a box in the foreground of the scene reveals a logo with a stylized "V". Could this be the symbol of Valhalla Sector?

On the other hand, Kurdy's portion of the script is brilliant. The way in which bits of the truth about Kurdy's parents are slowly doled out to the audience is well-crafted. The intercut scenes in which Kurdy remembers his childhood work seamlessly to pull the audience inside the character's mind. As the camera cuts from Kurdy to young Kurdy and from the dilapidated room to the flashback of his parents, the audience is aware of Kurdy's internal battle to both remember and forget traumatic memories. This is one of those occasions when the scriptwriter, director, actor, and editor come together to create a scene that is finer than the sum of its parts.