- Joby Harold
- Reviewed by
- Josť Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Clay Beresford (Hayden Christensen) is a millionaire who runs his fatherís company along with his mother Lilith (Lena Olin). Even though heís been dating Sam (Jessica Alba) for a while now, he hasnít had the courage to tell his strict mother about it. Clay is also on the waiting list for a heart transplant which his friend, Dr. Jack Harper (Terrence Howard), will perform. When a heart becomes available Clay quickly finds himself in an operating table, but the anesthesia doesnít work and even though his body is immovable he can hear, and feel, everything that is going on and thatís when he finds out that this situation is the least of his problems.
Joby Harold directed from his own original screenplay which supposedly came from an idea he got after going through an extremely painful kidney operation in which he was always, yes, awake. The result product is a flick with the best intentions which keeps the energy high and the audience guessing right until the end. The story takes a while to get going, but once it kicks off it becomes highly suspenseful and fun. Thereís nothing groundbreaking about it, but it accomplishes what it set out to do.
Awake runs 85 minutes complete with credits, which is fairly short by todayís standards. Then again, it feels just right. Whatís also amusing about it is how Harold toys with us and keeps bringing on the surprises right until the end. No one is what they seem to be, and thereís more to each character than was apparently present at first. Yes, the movie is full of implausibility, but itís a popcorn flick, and once you suspend disbelief you can actually have a good time with it.
Another interesting aspect of which I was very afraid of is how Harold would play with the main character being immobilized for more than half the movie. Well, he comes up with a clever idea that couldíve been a disaster, but which is well-handled and actually works. That said, Iím not talking about the voice-over, which I think couldíve sounded a bit more desperate, especially towards the realization of what was going on at first, but which was OK overall.
Samuel Simís original score is spot-on and provides the story with just the right atmosphere.
Hayden Christensen has never appeared to me as an especially talented performer and this foray does not change my opinion of him. He does what heís required to do, but nothing more. Ditto for Jessica Alba, for whom the previous sentence also applies word by word. Lena Olin steals the movie in what couldíve been a one-dimensional character but which ultimately leaves the strongest impression. Terrence Howard is bland, as usual, and completely forgettable. Arliss Howard, Christopher McDonald, Sam Robards, Fisher Stevens and Georgina Chapman co-star.
ďAm I supposed to still hear you?Ē
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