Movie Review: Before Mr. Robot, Rami Malek signed on for the bigger mind fuck of Buster’s Mal Heart

Buster’s Mal Heart is indie sci-fi at its most abstract, taking elements of more populist, influential films like Fight Club and The Matrix and filtering them through philosophical exchanges and coolly stylized compositions to produce something that’s somehow simultaneously more weighty and more slight. Director Sarah Adina Smith, who broke through with the similarly ambiguous The Midnight Swim in 2014, takes a cerebral approach to the material, referring to “spiritual fission” and “individual responsibility in a mechanistic universe” in her official statement on the film. Whether you find this sort of thing pretentious or intriguing is, essentially, a matter of taste.

The main character, whose consciousness appears to be split into three distinct identities, is played by a quietly intense Rami Malek, who serendipitously took the part shortly before his breakout role in Mr. Robot. We’re initially introduced to him as a nameless man covered in long …

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