Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Various: "Life goes on."

Gripping two-hour drama about the devastation caused to three families by an accidental car crash.

The driver Jack loses his faith and family. Widowed Cristina loses her husband and her two daughters. Nearby patient Paul gains a new heart, literally. In one sense, the film is all about new beginnings, and the preciousness of life. In another, it's all about the messiness of it.

The best thing about this production is the acting. Whenever something big happens, a lot of other movies will chicken-out and cut away to later. Not so here. There are several very heavy scenes throughout this, and the director has no coyness about confronting us with these moments in all their harrowing pain. This is immaculately acted by all.

The worst thing about this production is the editing. I'm not talking about the out-of-sync church singers, I mean the whole non-chronological narrative. While I found that it did jigsaw together for me by the end, for a good half of this I just wasn't sure who was who, or how things fitted together. Given the calibre of the performances in here, I thought the actors were robbed, and I would much rather have just watched this in order. (admittedly I missed the first minute and had to watch it afterwards, which probably didn't help, much like Channel 4's ad-less ad-breaks)

Also in this literally mixed-up plot, there is a preacherman who doesn't appear to have studied his own beliefs too closely, and a detective who is clever enough to leave his own prints on the orphan gun. However this film is unashamedly more interested in teasing out its characters' emotions, which as I say it excels at.

Oh well, it's only a movie. Life goes on.

(available here)


2 comment(s):

At 10:58 am, Blogger Maurice Mitchell said...

Steve, when non-chronological narrative is used well (like Memento) it's brilliant. When it's done badly (like Vantage Point) it's just confusing.

At 11:45 am, Blogger Steve Goble said...

As usual I agree with you Maurice. I haven't seen Vantage Point, but I too thought Memento was an excellent use of the technique. I had no idea throughout what had already happened… because neither did the character. Likewise I had no idea where the black and white scenes came, for the same reason. By the end of Memento I was still a little hazy on the story, but it was well worth it. Director Chris Nolan's earlier Following was a good clear use of it too, I thought.


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