Broken Review
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An unusual look at a familiar theme finds drug addiction, deception, and shattered dreams converging all at once as a young woman faces her recent past and possible future in Broken.

Hope (Heather Graham) left her home in Cleveland, accompanied by her guitar, to move to Los Angeles in an attempt to fulfill her dream of becoming a successful singer/songwriter. Unfortunately, she’s gorgeous, but she can’t sing. One day, while lying on the beach, she meets a fascinating man, Will (Jeremy Sisto). Of course, we can figure from the beginning that Will’s volatile and obsessive character will seduce as well as practically destroy her.

Most of this dark film takes place in a single night at the diner where she waits tables. The Seven Deadly Sins—Sloth, Gluttony, Envy, Lust, Greed, Pride, and Wrath—confront her in the form of pathetic customers. The rest of the film consists of flashbacks of her time with Will and his current efforts to reappear in her life.

Though I could figure out the sequences, I was confused about what was real and what was symbolic or imaginary—even after viewing the film twice. I also wouldn’t have been able to understand some elements if I hadn’t read the synopsis on the DVD jacket. That’s also the only way I would have known that the film was making reference to the Seven Deadly Sins.

Heather Graham is unconvincing as the naďve Hope, and her sophisticated demeanor permeates her character. However, this is Jeremy Sisto’s movie, as Will is charismatic and intoxicating, while still exhibiting his rough edges. Jake Busey and Tess Harper also give noteworthy performances as two of the many customers in the diner.

The soundtrack resonates the eerie, sordid theme of the movie. This is not an easy film to watch, as our protagonists are shooting heroin and existing in an abyss.

I would marginally recommend this film to rent for the music, the supporting characters, and Jeremy Sisto’s performance. It’s an interesting take on an old subject—but, really, we’ve seen it before.

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