Move Review – Source Code

What would you do if you knew you had less than a minute to live?

Well, that might not leave you with enough time to do most of what you want to, but make sure you at least watch the trailer of this movie that left me feeling zapped – Source Code.

They call Source Code a techno-thriller, but what it actually proves to be is a heartbeat-stopper. Directed by Duncan Jones, written by Ben Ripley, and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright, this movie caught my attention when it earned a 91% rating in the tomatometer at Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie begins with a stupendous train bomb sequence where the audience is left as stunned and as clueless as Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), the protagonist is. A decorated army helicopter pilot, Stevens wakes up on a moving train with a stranger addressing him as Sean. And then before he knows it, he is blown up into pieces along with the others on the train. Stevens, within a few mind-bending moments, discovers that he is in fact playing a pivotal role in a Government mission to trace the bomber and to avert impending bomb attacks. When the truth about Source Code, the program instigated by Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright) and handled by Air Force Captain Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), in which the powers of the brain’s circuit in retaining full capacity for a few minutes after a person’s death dawns on Stevens, he realizes he is expected to foray into the disaster scene, being in control of someone else’s body for eight minutes before doom sets in. Second by second, minute by minute, Stevens endears himself as he painstakingly unravels the plot, stumbling here and tripping there.

The lead and supporting cast have done marvelously well, and for a movie that tends to take the audience into the same setup, same act, same scene with every frame, this movie needs to be lauded for the creatively subtle differences shown with each shot. For instance, the way Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan) has been shown to look more radiant every time Stevens finds himself back in the train and actually begins to find Warren interesting needs a special mention. And the same applies to the manner in which each other member of Stevens’ car in the train gets the suspicion spotlight each time, and how they seem alternatingly villainous and innocent and indignant each time.

The movie lacks in no way on the softer emotions and the larger picture of what life is all about either. The question of what one would do if he or she gets to know that they have just less than a minute to live, or the protagonist’s belief in telling himself and also in wanting to be told that “everything’s gonna be okay” ought to touch the soul and the heart at once.

Jones has made a brilliant artwork of his movie, amalgamating technological splendor with emotional tugs-of-war, giving the viewer an experience of a lifetime. A must-watch in my opinion! 🙂

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