DRAGONFLY

Directed by Tom Shadyac. USA. 2002.


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Genetics are a funny thing. You may subscribe to the idea of inheriting things from your family. You may not. I however am all awareness of the factors that I have inherited from my mother, her strength, her smarts, and most of all her sympathies. The two of us possess an uncanny ability to cry at any moving onscreen moment (including some long distance telephone commercials). Since from the preview it appeared that Dragonfly was about sick children, and death it was with my pockets stuffed to the brim with Kleenex that I strode briskly into the theatre.

As a critic, and in particular as a woman there are those typical three little words that I've always had difficulty with. For the cause of promoting this wonderful movie I'll try. Kevin Costner.... for every sarcastic comment I may have made at your expense since the release of Waterworld in regards to your acting abilities I was wro.... I may have been mista..... I was in err.... This is harder than I thought.

Dragonfly is the story of Joe (Kevin Costner of Field of Dreams and Bull Durham and Emily Darrow (Susanna Thompson of Star Trek: DS9) a pair of doctors who work brilliantly together and are madly in love. While off on a mercy mission aiding children in Venezuela Emily is caught in a vicious storm. When an attempt at evacuation is made Emily is caught in a landslide and killed. Yet Joe is still seeing her personal totem animal (the dragonfly) everywhere. Is Joe losing his mind? Or is Emily trying to contact him?

Dragonfly. All rights Reserved.As the widowed husband Joe Darrow, Costner is back in full Field of Dreams form. For the first time in years Costner is empathetic, sympathetic, and charismatic throwing a ray of hope to those of us who have championed his potential since the days of Silverado. Welcome back Kevin. If Dragonfly doesn't firmly replant your feet to the pedestal of stardom nothing ever will.

The fantastic supporting cast includes Jay Thomas, (Mr. Holland's Opus) Linda Hunt, (The Year of Living Dangerously), and the incredible Kathy Bates (Misery, Dolores Claiborne) and Joe's caring next door neighbour Miriam.

Kathy Bates is wonderful in the role of Joe's closest friend. Trying hard to be there for him, but strong enough to voice her disbelief in any sort of paranormal experiences Bates is perfectly cast here, and is fantastic as per usual.

John Debney's score is absolutely chilling here. It blends perfectly with the creepy feeling of this gem. His skill as a composer shines in his ability to gently add to this tapestry and also in the knowledge that sometimes the best way to heighten suspense in a scene is to have no music at all.

In closing I have two things to say:
 

1. Mom, I love you. But the two of us are never going to go see this movie together. For as I understand it
theatres are not currently equipped with the life preservers everyone in the theatre will need when the
two of us get going.

2. Kevin, this little gem has just earned you an audience member for the next three hour sci-fi epic that you put into theatres. I'll go on one condition: That for every Postman you put out, you put out one movie like this that's up to your level.
 
 

Jen Johnston
 
 
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Material Copyright © 2001 Nigel Watson