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User Reviews for: The Imposter

7/10  10 years ago
This is one of the craziest stories I've ever heard. The subject matter is fascinating and more than a little creepy - it is hard not to jump to unpleasant conclusions as it progresses, first that the family and law enforcers were monumentally stupid people, and then that the family had a less than pure/stupid reason for welcoming Frederic with open arms (a point that you are whacked with about 2/3rds of the way through quite explicitly, without a satisfying resolution). The law enforcement types just remain monumentally stupid - how could they not have done any checks on the guys' ID? He was a 23 year old Arab posing as a 16 year old American and they just took that on face value (when the face was clearly not that of a blonde haired, blue-eyed American kid!).

Sadly it would have been a much better movie in the hands of a more competent documentary maker - Frederic is an incredibly weird and disturbed guy, that much is obvious, but he is portrayed as being kind of the hero of the tale when the more interesting angle to take would surely be to explore his skilful manipulation of the people and situations around him and let us know how he became that person. In the absence of answers to the questions all viewers will have about the disappearance of Nicholas more questions are just layered on about the origin of the main character in this twisted tale and how he developed his ability to deceive. He is portrayed as smug and utterly without remorse, and the film never fully reveals his motivations - ultimately this is good but far from great, the major disappointment being that you suspect somewhere in there are at least two mind blowing stories just waiting to be told - we just never get to find out what they are. Frustrating, but still well worth watching for the bizarre situation and fascinating lead 'character'.
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Reply by sznagy
8 years ago
I think you have a great point that Frederic hasn't got a main motivation. The only reason is he does these things all the time. But I think this movie is a bit further than a documentary. The movie wants to put our perspection into Frederic's eyes, thoughts. The director wants us the follow Frederic's ideas. We can see that where the movie changes a bit and the perspection from Frederic goes to the murder of Nicholas. But did the murder happened at all? Was it just a sentence by Frederic that everyone believed? Was it just a thought, that Frederic and the director put in our heads?
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CONTAINS SPOILERS6/10  5 years ago
Random thoughts throughout the movie:
- I'm sorry, a 13-year-old child with tattoos? With 3 f*cking tattoos?! Man, that's ridiculous...
- I can imagine how desperate and relieved could have the sister been, but not even looking into his eyes? That would be the first thing I would do. (And I'm not just saying this because the only really visible difference was their eyes. When I'm seeing someone after a long period of time, I'm looking to their face, and clearly, I have to look at their eyes too.)
- Okay, so even if they really couldn't see much of the man's face at the beginning, didn't they see that he was (around) 23, not 16 when they took his picture? (And, once again, THE EYES.)
- How could Nicholas have a nephew remembering the happenings? Nicholas should've been 16, I assume his sister wasn't that much older - and even if she was, how could she have a child of at least 5-6 years (to be able to remember a specific day's events)?
- Lol, okay, I should've thought that he was going to create a somewhat believeable lie about his eye color.
- Maybe it's just because I know the whole story as a viewer, but the things that the private investigator and the psychologist(?) found out about the two Nicholas' not-matching ears and accent, I could've easily doubted the "teenager" in front of me by these facts. Again, I can only imagine how relieved and happy that family was to not notice anything, but also, I can't emphasize how careless (or simply stupid) they were to not recognize that the boy in front of them isn't Nicholas, and isn't even a 16-year-old teenager.
- Okay, if the sister _actually_ welcomed the imposter back home _knowing_ the he was an imposter, and the mother laid down on the floor refusing to give DNA samples... then yes, that family is just f*cking stupid.
- So, um... Yeah. Things are getting interesting.
- Who was that person who put a damn phone INTO HIS CELL? WTF is wrong with people?

This documentary was just as expectable from the summary, then totally different because of some twists, then back to predictable. It was a bit strange, a bit interesting, a bit confusing. I feel like we didn't get much true information on the case, it was basically the lies of Frederic and the stupidity of the family of Nicholas. We didn't know what really happened to Nicholas, we didn't know what caused Frederic to pose as as many children as he did (just to receive some love?)... So it was kind of a meaningless documentary for me.
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