Sometimes love survives even death
Robert Bailey Jr.
Running Time: 100 minutes
UK Certificate: 12
Country: United States
In this supernatural thriller Kevin Costner plays Joe Darrow, a doctor whose pregnant paediatrician wife (Susanna Thompson) dies in a bus accident in the South American rainforest while on a mission of mercy. Unable to cope with her death, Darrow buries himself in his work at the hospital. However, strange things begin to happen around him which become increasingly difficult for him to ignore.
At first, Darrow can rationalise away the occurrences moving objects and strange paintings produced by his wife's surviving child cancer patients but it is not long before the odd events become impossible to ignore. In spite of the advice from his rational friend Mrs Belmont (Kathy Bates), Darrow becomes increasingly convinced that his wife's patients are bringing him her message from beyond the grave, and it is of vital importance that he discover what it means.
Unfortunately, this is a film that fails to fully satisfy at any level. Darrow doesn't so much go on a spiritual journey as traverse the same emotional ground over and over. Costner does his best with the weak character, but never manages to bring any depth or impact to the role. Although there are some chilling moments, the supernatural aspect fails to build into anything that produces real goosebumps. The cast are left trying to make the most of a script that spends much of its time going nowhere. Only as the film reaches its conclusion does it manage to produce anything really surprising.
It's Got: Some genuinely creepy moments.
It Needs: Less emotional manipulation and more pace, depth and conviction.
DVD Extras The "Spotlight" offers an interesting insight into the making of the film. Extras: Spotlight on Location, 8 deleted scenes, Betty Eadie segment, Directors commentary. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10
A slow film in which the main character's spiritual journey rarely seems to make much progress. A must for Costner fans, of course, but unlikely to make much impact on anyone else.