I'm dying to see this movie! It starts today. If anyone sees it, please post your comments. I'm not sure if I'll be able to catch it this weekend, but it's on my "to do list" for the upcoming weeks. :up
I have a feeling this movie will scare the living crap outta me!
AWAKE - OFFICIAL SITE
Northern Star Online: 'Awake' won't put you to sleep
'Awake' won't put you to sleep
By PATRICK BATTLE
Rating: 8.5 / 10
Hayden Christensen, Jessica Alba, Terrence Howard, Lena Olin, Christopher McDonald
Clay Beresford (Christensen) is a young, wealthy and very successful businessman who seems to want nothing more than to make everyone around him happy. However, his life is filled with small problems that are each trivial, but tally up to create a threatening downfall. An overbearing and overprotective mother (Olin), a secret romance with a beautiful woman (Alba) and a heart condition that leads to an enormously vital surgery ... That’s just the synopsis at surface level. The less you know about this plot, the better.
The plot is the strongest asset of this film. Appropriate distractions, brilliantly placed, take attention away from the surprises as they come. Most importantly, Jessica Alba has dodged the bullet of playing one-dimensional characters and turned in a very credible performance. When she actually has to act, she’s pretty good at it.
Not all the characters are as well developed as they could be. There isn’t much of a satisfying explanation as to why Clay’s mother Lilith is so coldhearted and stern. Even upon the so-called “revelation” of her true nature, her motives are too unclear. Also, it is a bit hard to believe that Clay’s surgeon (Howard) actually does what he does in this film. The motives of he and his colleagues are clear but not entirely authentic.
“Awake” is a pleasant surprise. It is craftily constructed. Unfortunately, many will overlook this gem, as its trailers do it great injustice, making it look like a “here today, gone tomorrow,” gratuitous horror film. According to the trailer, it is about a man who experiences anesthesia awareness (a phenomenon where a patient is paralyzed, but not unconscious during surgery and can feel everything). This is actually a very small part of the film, which should be presented as what it truly is – a very mindful and powerful thriller.
There may be an underlying theme here focusing on perception. Those who appear to have Clay’s best interest in mind may have hidden agendas, just as those who seem to have constraints on his life may be acting out of love. Take Christopher McDonald’s delicate portrayal of an alcoholic doctor who serves as a last minute replacement for a surgeon participating in Clay’s procedure. He may have a flaw, but his actions are evidence that sometimes the people held in the lowest regard will come out and show what they’re really made of when it counts. “Awake” is surely not what it seems, but is, in fact, much more.
Have you ever been blindsided by a film before? One that you thought was going to be awful but it turned out to be actually very good? I think we all have. It’s happened to me countless times before. Awake is one of those films. Mostly in part to the two main leads, I wasn’t expecting very much out of the film. I was wrong. Awake is a clever and entertaining film, and one of the best the fall has had to offer so far.
On the surface, Clay Beresford is living the dream. He’s a twenty-something billionaire living in New York. He’s got a cute girlfriend (Jessica Alba), and he’s the head of his father’s company. Not everything is as it seems though. He has a judgmental mother (Lena Olin) who disapproves of his girlfriend, and is heart is quickly giving out on him. As a matter of fact, he recently had a massive heart attack and is in need of heart transplant according to his doctor and friend Jack (Terrence Howard).
Now, I don’t want to give much more plot description because if I reveal what happens leading up to the operation and anything after that point, you might be able to guess where the film is going. Any slightest detail could ruin the film, and that’s the exact opposite of what I want to do (if this was bad, maybe). All you really need to know is that Clay goes into surgery and he begins to suffer from anesthetic awareness, which we learn affects 30,000 people who undergo aesthesis. That number seems a little too high to me, but what do I know?
As I said before, I wasn’t expecting very much from this. I mean when you see the names Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba up on a billboard, are you going to go rush out and see that? These are the two most wooden actors working in Hollywood today. But you know what? Both of them give good performances here. As a matter of fact, all of the performances are very good, especially from Terrence Howard and Lena Olin. I can’t really go into why though.
Aside from the performances, the reason why I liked the film so much is how the plot unfolds itself. It’s just one thing after the other. I really admired the structure of the film and how the story was told. I also liked the out of body experiences that Clay has during the film. The last one is especially good because of the lightning techniques used. There are a couple of problems when it comes to logic (like how can a regular person enter an operating room without getting stopped by a doctor or a guard?), but for the most part they can be easily ignored. You’ll be too busy enjoying how the film plays out.
When a film is not screened for critics, nine times out of ten it will be a bad film. Awake is that one time where a good film manages to slip through. This is the first time this year that I have been pleasantly surprised by a film. Many times this year I have walked out of film disappointed after I expected to like it (I‘m talking about you Spider-Man 3). It’s good to see that it can work the other way as well.
BoboFan, thank you for describing what this film actually is. I am certain I would have chosen not to see it for several of the reasons you address.
That Jessica Alba and Hayden Christiansen were cast is one of them. I wouldn't expect good acting out of either, but you say it is there.
My second reason for avoidance was the premise of seeing someone undergoing surgery with non-working anaesthesia. I really hate horror movies in general and the thought of someone going through this, which I know does happen, made me shudder.
Based on your review, I will put it into my rental queue, and thank you again for pointing me towards a movie I might enjoy, but would probably not have given a chance.
I won't be seeing this one. I like both Jessica Alba and Hayden Christensen, but the subject matter? Not so much.
I had a friend who worked with a woman who actually experienced the phenomenon depicted in the film (at least I think it's the premise of the movie). She had surgery and the anesthesia immobilized her, but she felt everything. :omg The incident put her on a downward spiral, both physically and mentally, and she died a few years later. She was young and, aside from the condition for which she needed surgery, quite healthy. The trauma of the surgery was just too much for her.
Sometimes, I think movies get a little too "real" for me. I don't think I could handle this. I'm glad it's getting good reviews though. It's a horrifying concept, but at least it's not a crappy movie to boot! :lol
Florimel, I didn't write either review. I posted what I found online. I haven't seen the movie yet. I still plan on seeing it, but there's no doubt it will terrify me and probably scare me so bad that I'll probably never undergo surgery again. :omg
Originally Posted by Florimel;2705742;
I highly enjoyed this movie. I thought that Jessica Alba and Hayden Christensen did a really good job with their parts. The thought of undergoing surgery like that scares me. I don't think I would ever under go surgery unless i HAVE to.
This is going on my rental list!
This movie was really good. It seemed like a low budget film the entire time but the acting was alright and the plot was good.
I just rented this along with 2 other movies and I can't wait to watch it tomorrow!
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