Jamie Marks is dead (2014)
In a wintry small town, the body of a teenager named Jamie Marks is found by the river. Adam, the star of his cross-country team, becomes fascinated with Jamie, a boy nobody really knew or interacted with, except occasionally to bully him. When Jamie’s ghost begins to appear both to Adam and Gracie, the classmate who discovered the body, Adam is caught between two worlds. He has a budding romance with Gracie, but he also feels a deep connection to Jamie, who brings him closer to the world of the undead.
Genre : Drama
Country : USA
Noah Silver : Jamie Marks
Cameron Monaghan : Adam
Morgan Saylor : Gracie
“You know, what happened to Jamie, it was awful, and it was tragic, and it was everything else
that everyone says it is.
But we have a choice, and all of us have a choice, and I made mine.
What did you choose?
Not to see him.”
“Jamie Marks is dead” is a sort of “Sixth Sense” story, combined with a narrative about teenagers and the troubles they experience during their teenage years. That it deals with supernatural apparitions is also a fact. Are you expecting a terrifying horror? Well in that case, this will surely be a major disappointment. Jamie Marks (Noah Silver who looks eerily like Harry Potter) is without a doubt as dead as a doornail. However, his spiritual alter ego has other plans and isn’t going to exchange his earthly life with the spiritual easily. Is Jamie seeking for revenge on those who have made his life miserable? Or is his intention to persuade an individual to take that step to eternal life? Sometimes I come across movies I ask myself questions about afterwards. What the hell did I watch? And what was the ultimate meaning? What was it about for God’s sake? “Jamie Marks is dead” is such a movie.
Jamie isn’t exactly Mister Popularity at school. He’s always a laughingstock. A mega scapegoat and doormat of the bullies in school. Nobody had any affinity with him and completely ignored him. Adam (Cameron Monaghan) has witnessed such harassment. He never participated in the bullying, but he never really intervened. Adam isn’t exactly popular either, but thanks to his sporting achievements, he never suffered the same fate as Jamie. And then Jamie’s body is discovered by Gracie (Morgan Saylor), an extravagant behaving teenage girl who collects stones. Spontaneously a friendship arises between Adam and Gracie, thanks to this unfortunate incident. It soon turns out that they both can see the wandering spirit of Jamie. Despite the warning of Jamie, who refuses to have any contact with this supernatural phenomenon, a kind of connection grows between the two boys.
“Jamie Marks is dead” is a difficult film. Especially if you try to understand the deeper meaning of it all. Is Jamie trying to create a friendship in this form of existence? Visible only to those who cared about him in a way? Because to be honest, everyone is pretty indifferent when it comes to his death in this community. Or is it an incomplete goal he ultimately wants to achieve? Could this goal be succeeding in winning Adam for himself? It’s obvious Jamie feels something for him. He admired Adam during his running events. Ultimately, there is an odd sexual tension between the two. The way Jamie ecstatically reacts as Adam whispers a word into his ear or mouth. Or is it the symbolism of how Adam starts to discovers his own sexuality? Is this the reason why being intimate with Gracie isn’t working out that well? Because of the appearances of Jamie?
“Jamie Marks is dead” is no self-evident movie. It is a bleak and depressing picture. A morbid movie with pretty crazy characters and situations. At first I thought this was a reflection of Adam’s mental state. But this can’t be, because Gracie can see dead Jamie as well. Not only the bizarre love triangle seems reasonable unworldly. The friendship that develops between Linda (Liv Tyler), Adam’s mother, and Lucy (Judy Greer), a wacky woman who caused a road accident while being drunk after which Linda ended up in a wheelchair, isn’t normal either. It’s all rather incomprehensible (and not only because of the unintelligibly mumbling of Gracie). Most will look at this and say it’s a waste of time and utter crap. Maybe I’m an odd guy, but I thought this was all quite intriguing.