Sunday, February 24, 2008

VANTAGE POINT

VANTAGE POINT
Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, William Hurt, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, Eduardo Noriega, Edgar Ramirez, Said Taghmaoui


"8 Strangers. 8 Points of View. 1 Truth"

Cinema 4, Robinson's Galleria



This non linear film actually focuses on just one event. The assassination of the US President while he addresses a huge crowd in a plaza in Salamanca, Spain. We are shown the scene unfolding in 5 minute frames from the point of view of 8 different people. Each of them playing a major part in the situation. It is futile to discuss each of the portions at length, it needs to be seen on the big screen. I believe it is in the neatly executed presentation of these vantage points where the film somehow "succeeds."

The manner the director chose to narrate to the audience the main scene with its repetitive sequences is a different film technique. He does it with non stop action filled sequences of car chases, exploding bombs and a sense of terrifying panic. All vividly executed by a good ensemble cast of a bevy of international actors (US and Spanish) like Dennis Quaid, Forest Whitaker and Eduardo Noriego to name a few. The setting is in a sunny Spanish city/town with its tiny streets vibrantly teeming with huge throes of humanity.

The implausible story line does have some loopholes but the fast paced action scenes glosses over them. You really don't get a detailed explanation behind the assassination plot and its mastermind. You assume it is to prove a point. That we live in vicarious times. Or that not even the most protected head of state in the world is safe from terrorist attacks. Or that some people just want to make a statement by resorting to violent means.


By the 4th or 5th vantage point, you slowly piece the puzzles together to get the whole picture. You don't mind going through the repeated scenes of disturbing footage of an exploding plaza filled with people and the lapse in the Secret Service security, the very people assigned to protect "Potus". You get chills from the cunning ability of the terrorists to have a well organized plan to carry out their violent strategy.

It is no doubt deeply absorbing and makes for a thrilling cinematic moment while it lasts. Then you leave the theater and realize that these events can and do happen for real. The scary part is that the truth of the matter is never fully explained and their (the news spiel filtered to the media by the government) version of the truth will prevail simply because it was announced in the evening news. So it is probably best you leave your conspiracy theory tendencies at home and simply sit back to get an adrenaline rush from the film.

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