By Harold Goldberg
Paris, France: Cold. Rainy. Windy. And utterly beautiful.
Far away from the Eieffel Tower at the Quantic Dream studios, a group of journalists is watching a 45-minute demo of live gaming from Beyond: Two Souls. The homeless Jodie Holmes, played by Ellen Page, wanders snowy streets in a blizzard – until she comes upon another homeless person, who sits on the ground with an acoustic guitar next to him.
She’s starving and she needs money. For food. And, as it turns out later, for self esteem, for she has none in this supernatural thriller made by David Cage and Quantic Dream.
Down next to the homeless musician she sits, and she sings. And man, her voice. Not only is it good (and it raised five dollars for food), it reminded me of the Lower East Side back in the day, and of Brenda Kahn, in particular. Brenda eventually got a sweet record deal with Columbia and opened for Bob Dylan.
But before that there were hard times. I remember walking with her and watching her play her acoustic guitar as she sang plaintive, powerful, story-filled songs in the Village and on Rivington Street. She, or someone, would pass the hat at the end of a set. And that money would help.
And as Ellen Page sang, that was the moment for me. I kind of got choked up because it all felt real to me – Ellen as Jodie as Brenda. The moment was subtler than what we saw at E3 regarding Beyond. Rather than being action-filled, it was dramatic, painful, touching.
I hope the rest of “Beyond: Two Souls” rings true as well.
More from Paris, and an announcement about Beyond soon. Stay tuned.