Vantage Point

vantagepointWe saw this movie on DVD last week. It is a fairly bog-standard story about terrorism and the assassination of a US president. It has all the usual action elements – explosions, gunplay, car chases, you know the drill, but it is more interesting than it sounds because the film is all about one 15 minute period seen from 6 or 7 different perspectives, hence the title. The central scene is played out from one character’s vantage point, then rewound and played out again from another’s vantage point, over and over. I guess this must have posed some interesting challenges for the director and the actors, but it does create some interest also for the viewer.

I don’t think the film rises to greatness, but it does have a few redeeming features:

1. The accents weren’t just Hollywood American.

2. There weren’t just good ‘good guys’ and bad ‘bad guys’.

3. Depending upon how philosophical you are (or maybe how many drinks you’ve had!), it is thought-provoking. How differently we understand what goes on around us when we are able to catch glimpses of the same event from a number of different perspectives!

4. The resolution of the story’s crisis comes about spontaneously as the result of one moment of vulnerable humanity (involving a child) that deflects all the high-minded, meticulously planned, politically motivated acts of violence. I like this last bit – I find it hope-inspiring, not to mention thoroughly post-modern and anarchic!

One thing the Central American Catholic Liberation Theologians of the 1970’s and 80’s taught me – “where you stand determines what you see” (So…stand in a different place from time to time…and don’t assume that what you see is all there is to see).

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~ by Garry on November 25, 2008.

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