[DVD review]Complex plot to shoot president

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[DVD review]Complex plot to shoot president

What one sees is not enough to tell a story.

But a chain of different perspectives, all viewing an identical event, can reveal the misunderstandings, reality and different facades of a story.

“Vantage Point” supports this idea. It films seven apparently random, yet somehow intertwined people to explain an assassination attempt on the President of the United States.

The story takes place in Salamanca, Spain (although technically the movie was filmed in Mexico City) at a counter-terrorism summit.

News reporter Angie (Zoe Saldana) reports that the summit is going smoothly when two gun-shots are heard and the President of the United States falls.

In the midst of the panic, a bomb goes off followed by a much larger one that kills several people, including the reporter Angie.

The action unravels with a great deal of authenticity, helped by the genuinely terrified reactions of the actors during the chaos.

You might still have your mouth wide open as you try to take in the events unfolding before you when the movie rewinds and whisks you back to noon.

The event is then retold from the point of view of Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid), a secret service agent for the U.S. President.

He is the first to find out there’s a bomb under the podium and the identity of the plotter.

But his story ends abruptly when he uncovers the puzzle of the assassination.

There are five more stories left, all starting at noon and revolving around the same event. These stories are told by a cop, a tourist, the president, an accomplice and the killer.

What’s interesting about the film is that as more details are revealed with each flashback, it becomes clearer that each person has his own reasons for his behavior, taking the movie to a pulsating chase sequence and surprise ending.

The special features section of the DVD contains commentaries from the director Pete Travis, and inside perspectives into plotting an assassination, surveillance tapes and coordinating chaos.

In the special features I also watched interviews with all the main actors. Their comments made me appreciate the creativity of the script and how well the film was cast.

After watching Vantage Point, it’s true what Michael Fox, as Kent Taylor, says in the features on the DVD: “There really is no reality … what you see, what reality is, is what you make of it and how you interpret what has happened.”

Vantage Point

Drama, Action, Thriller / English

90 min.

By Su-jeong Choi Contributing Writer [sc523@cornell.edu]
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