Cillian Murphy plays John Skillpa. He’s a quiet bank clerk who likes to keep to himself, get his job done and go home to his wife, Emma. Cillian Murphy plays Emma Skillpa, the wife who likes to keep to herself and dote on her husband. Yet this is irrevocably changed when a train carriage comes crashing through their garden thus bringing outsiders directly into their life of solitude and routine – the curious, the press, the insurance people and the well wishers. This poses a huge problem. John and Emma, you see, are one and the same. Until this point, John has lived his life during working hours, Emma hers before and after his hours. But personalities start to clash when public appearances can no longer be limited to allocated times and decisions need to be made. You won’t believe how much trouble Emma can make for John and vice versa.
What phenomenal acting by Cillian Murphy (as always?). He’s brilliant. Disturbing. He so effectively and seamlessly takes on these two distinct characters (although technically one role…so, I digress slightly from the Blogathon topic…sorry). Once they start imposing on each other, he still manages to keep them separate, never leaving behind a trace of one in the other. So much so that you’re never really sure who is the antagonist and who the protagonist, if there is even a difference…maybe they’re both both (yes, repeat intended). I found myself questioning who I’d support, who I’d want to come out the winning personality. The transformation from male to female is just a tad creepy yet convincing. While the plot becomes quite heavy and intense it is intriguing as to how each knows very little to nothing of what the other is up to. They both have different aspirations, values and memories (I know very little about this, so apologies if Peacock is a bad example or poor portrayal of people living with dissociative identity disorder).
Give it a watch. There’s much more to it than just a clashing of personalities. Be warned though, this is far from being a feel-good film with a happy-smiley-lovey-dovey-all-will-be-well end. But it will leave you thinking long after the credits have rolled. I enjoyed it (as much as “enjoy” is an appropriate word for a film like this).
Peacock also stars Ellen Page, Susan Sarandon, Josh Lucas, Bill Pullman and Keith Carradine.