Monday, April 13, 2009

PASSENGERS: Unexplained Mystery

PASSENGERS (mystery thriller)
Cast: Anne Hathaway, Patrick Wilson, David Morse, Andre Braugher and Dianne Wiest
Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Time: 98 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)

Anne Hathaway and Patrick Wilson in PASSENGERS

PREAMBLE: This is the movie that Anne Hathaway is probably trying to forget after her Oscar-nominated performance in Rachel Getting Married. The screenplay by Ronnie Christensen, tries to stir up mystery and suspense, but ends up a complete washout when we get to the 'big twist' ending.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Claire Summers (Anne Hathaway) is a trauma counsellor called upon to help passengers of a commercial airliner that crashed on a beach in an unnamed American city. Most of her patients are angry or unresponsive, except for stockbroker Eric (Patrick Wilson), who doesn't want her professional help but wants to get closer to Claire.

Against her professional judgement, Claire starts to fall for Eric, partly because he seems to know her so well, even to the point of how she likes her coffee. Claire soon begins to suspect that something is wrong, and starts investigating — working on a patient's belief that the crash wasn't caused by the pilot but by a covered-up explosion.

Meanwhile, she has to contend with a sinister airline executive (David Morse), a creepily helpful neighbour (Dianne Wiest) and a scary-looking dog that trails Eric.

HITS & MISSES: Apparently, the main reason to catch this movie is Hathaway, in the main role. She manages to provide the requisite screen chemistry with Wilson. The rest of the cast are watchable too. Clea DuVall shines in a small role as one Claire’s difficult patients. However, the movie is just a series of illogical build-ups - to a ridiculous and disappointing twist that won't ever explain the gaping holes in the plot.

Directed by Rodrigo Garcia (who helmed Nine Lives in 2005), Passengers has supernatural elements, bits of romantic comedy and suspense reminiscent of The Sixth Sense and The Others.

THE LOWDOWN: If you are a Hathaway fan, it is better to wait for Rachel Getting Married.


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