Monday, August 6, 2007


Sandra Bullock, Julian McMahon, Kate Nelligan, Nia Long,
Peter Stormare, Amber Valleta

"Reality is only a nightmare away"

The movie starts off a bit slow as we are introduced to the characters. Linda (Sandra Bullock) is a SAHM (stay at home mom) with two young daughters. Her life has settled into a routine. Her husband, Jim (Julian McMahon) is mostly away on business trips. One day, the sheriff shows up at her door to announce that Jim died in a horrific car accident out of town. Things evolve and gets mildly interesting when Linda wakes up the next day to find out her husband isn’t dead. But this isn’t a case of mistaken identity. Neither is it a ghost story. Although there are traces of that Bill Murray movie “Groundhog Day” where he keeps reliving one particular day, over and over again, “Premonition” borders on an entirely different premise.

Without giving out much of the plot since it is better to watch it unfold, I figure the main message is - if you could change or prevent something from happening because you knew its outcome beforehand, would you? Or would you let destiny unfold and just make the most of the situation as it occurred? Or does altering a single event in your past really affect the way your life would unravel in the present? These and more questions abound when you see this film. I am not implying that the film is pretty deep like “The Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind“. Nor does it twist and turn your mind like “The Butterfly Effect“, it doesn’t. Yet it does get you thinking about life in general.

Having said that, the film is not without flaws. There are gaping loopholes you can spot a mile away. Yet the way Mennan Yapo, the director chose to execute the storyline does have some thrilling moments which will grip your senses. He could have used the time tested technique of flashbacks or to simplify matters, he could have flashed the specific day everytime Linda woke up but he didn’t. He preferred to let the audience figure it out for themselves what day it was and what would unfold on that day. So if you pay close attention, it would be pretty easy to figure things out. Although it can get a bit confusing sometimes to put the complicated pieces together. I guess it is fair to say that it gave me a headache but only because it was pretty late when I watched the film so my coherence level was a bit off. For instance, I wasn’t acute enough to notice the events which brought about the little twist at the ending. But now that I think about it, it surely does make sense after all.

Sandra Bullock did good in her taxing role given that her character was in every frame. She has always been a believable enough actress to portray these type of roles where it pays to be subdued and not resort to over the top hysterics. Julian McMahon is and always will be eye candy material. His role is rather brief in this film to make any significant impact. I was a bit surprised that Peter Stormare was cast as the psychiatrist. He came across as a thug instead of a nurturing physician so thankfully it was just a small part.

Overall, the movie does convey that during the course of our hectic and monotonous life, we tend to lose sight of the more important things. We fail to acknowledge the relevance of our life. We often strive in a purpose-less existence. The film doesn’t really give you the answers but at least it gets you thinking twice or even thrice. I guess that should count for something, right?

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