Branagh was proving his chops as a style filmmaker very early in his profession, as “Lifeless Once more” is just not merely glorious, however might be among the best movies of 1991. It comprises stabbings, revenge, infidelity, jealousy, and a scrumptious aspect of the supernatural. Branagh stars as a not-well-respected personal investigator named Mike Church who takes in a mysterious mute girl (Emma Thompson) with amnesia. Whereas Mike Church is investigating the mute girl’s identification — he has named her Grace — they’re visited by a nice hypnotist named Franklyn (Derek Jacobi). Franklyn hypnotizes “Grace,” and he or she regresses into what could be a previous life … maybe because the sufferer of a infamous 1948 homicide. Within the 1948 story — filmed in stunning black-and-white — Branagh performs a composer named Roman Strauss who was executed for murdering his spouse Margaret, performed by Thompson.
“Lifeless Once more” is savvy and sensible about establishing two mysteries on the identical time. Whereas Grace’s identification is uncovered, so too is the 1948 scandal that led to the loss of life of Margaret Strauss. And, sure, plainly we, in our present incarnations, could also be prone to the actions of our earlier incarnations. The script by Scott Frank (“Out of Sight”) is twisted and tantalizing.
“Lifeless Once more” was a shock to followers of Branagh’s “Henry V,” who may need assumed the younger Irish actor was solely able to theatrical language and classical theater. Plainly Branagh might assemble a potboiler in addition to anybody, making the most of the medium with the verve of somebody simply discovering cinema. He additionally, maybe naturally, works effectively with actors, getting nice performances from Thompson, Jacobi, and Robin Williams as a bitter, foul-mouthed former psychiatrist who now works in a grocery retailer.