Saturday 6 June 2009

Vantage Point

The title of the 2008 action thriller Vantage Point suggests the nature of the story. The planned (or apparent) assassination of an American president is seen from various different perspectives. And each time we see the events leading up to the attack, we learn more about the complex plot.

Multiple viewpoint stories can work very effectively in the crime genre. Wilkie Collins proved this long ago with The Moonstone, and in a very different way, Vantage Point reminds us that, although a single viewpoint can give a narrative a great deal of emotional power, multi-viewpoints afford great potential for story development.

I liked this film a great deal. Dennis Quaid is very good as the secret service agent who is one of the few good guys, and William Hurt is, as usual, splendid as the President: nobody does bafflement as well as Hurt, I think. The very good cast also includes Sigourney Weaver.

It’s a film that is so fast-moving and convoluted that it will repay more than one viewing. Vantage Point is not an in-depth, character-driven film, but very strong on plot complication and drama. If that’s to your taste, I think you will probably enjoy it as much as I did.


Max Henry said...

Martin, I love the blog & am so impressed with how many posts you achieve. Re, your love of gardens, may I recommend a murder mystery set in a garden? The Savage Garden by Mark Mills is set in Italy & I thought it a great read. Thanks again for the blog and congrats on your writing success.

Keanan Brand said...

I recently rented the DVD on my brother's recommendation, and enjoyed it very much. I watched it again immediately (I only had it for one day) so I could study how the story was put together. A well done film.

Martin Edwards said...

Max, greetings and thanks for your kind words. I have heard good things about the Mills book and will put it on my tbr list.
Hi, Keanan, good to hear from you. I certainly could do with a look at the special features on the DVD version - very clever story!