Wednesday, June 27, 2007

At The Movies: Deja Vu

Any movie whose script can cause two well-known Christian actors to sign on will get my attention! Such was the case with DÉJÀ VU, a 2006 sci-fi thriller starring Denzel Washington and Jim Caviezel.

This New Orleans-based thriller begins with the explosion of a ferry resulting in over 500 casualties, including families and sailors. AFT agent Doug Carlin (Washington) is assigned to investigate what is deemed a terrorist attack. Agent Carlin is without leads until he is informed about a corpse of a woman that was found one hour before the explosion, but burnt with the same explosive.

Agent Carlin’s quick mind and local knowledge has drawn the attention of a special FBI surveillance team. Agent Prywarra (Val Kilmer) invites Carlin to join it. Pryzwarra's team of physicists has chanced upon a wormhole into the past, and is cautiously test-driving equipment that enables them to monitor from any angle events of four and a half days ago as they unfold in real time on a high-tech screen.

While looking for a starting point to review the past, Agent Carlin discloses the identity of the mysterious dead woman, Claire, and decides to follow her last moments trying to find the criminal. While watching the surveillance, we see Doug falling in love with Claire and becoming determined to change destiny, saving her life.

There’s a definite messianic element to Doug Carlin. He falls in love with Claire knowing she’s dead. He desires to give her renewed life. He is willing to sacrifice his life to accomplish that goal. There’s more, but that would spoil the film.

There are Christian references throughout the film. We see a flyer for a Baptist revival on Claire’s bulletin board. We watch through the time window as Claire says grace over her meal thanking God for the food and her life. We see Doug Carlin apparently bowing his head with Claire as she prays. And there’s the cryptic message on Claire’s refrigerator, “You can save her”.

The scientific versus the spiritual is openly discussed. In fact, at a crucial point in the film, one of the uber-scientists says, “I believe in God, but don’t tell anyone.”

In a neat casting twist, Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, plays the villain in the film. In an interview, when asked what caused him to be interested in the film, Caviezel replied, “I look for redeemable material. You know, and even though I`m playing the bad guy in DÉJÀ VU, the story itself is so powerful, the element of good versus evil, and good winning out...” [Interestingly, this is Jim Caviezel’s second time-warp film, the first being Frequency.]

The script demands a thinking audience. The movie doesn’t assume we are all dolts who have to have every nuance of the story painted in broad strokes. Actor Jim Caviezel said, “I love that DÉJÀ VU is a film that tackles both the seen and unseen.” For that and many more reasons, I loved DÉJÀ VU.

1 comment:

RosieBoo said...

It's on my Blockbuster Queue and I've heard nothing but rave reviews about it...I can't wait!