There is an art to misdirection in film. It has been done on numerous occasions and with varying amounts of success in this film genre. M Night Shyamalan is one of the best examples of both the way to do it and the way not to depending on which of his movies you look into. Films like Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense do it very well, whereas films like Signs don’t necessary do it very well, or the misdirection doesn’t lead to a satisfying conclusion for many of the audience members. I know I had issues with it and many other people I know were not happy with it.
When it is done properly, it is really great, but when it is not done properly, it can sometimes ruin what up until the end can be a great film. Thankfully, Playground is on the side of misdirection done properly. The main character plays upon a lot of the ideas we have about people. As we go along in this film, we make certain assumptions about who he is and the way he live his life. His back story makes you think he is not the best person in the world. That he may be involved in some kind of criminal activity and is getting away with it.
Enter the co-star, a young woman who again plays upon how we think about the realities of a young woman that is out at night. With these types of genre, most people have come to expect a twist of some kind. Film entertainment consumers have seen enough movies to know on some level that something is coming. But the mark of a good filmmaker today is in the ability of the filmmaker to keep the audience engaged in the story being told in the moment instead of waiting for the twist.
For Playground, I believe that the filmmaker Mark Kuczewski managed to do that. It is a very well written and shot film with an understanding of the material that it is trying to portray, I look forward to seeing more from them.
Check it out below or more from a lot of filmmakers at Film Annex.