Sunday, September 17, 2006


The Poster

At first glance the premise of the movie seemed a little like Nicole Kidman's Birth, where someone who's already dead gets reincarnated into a boy who seemed to know all her/their dirty little secrets. Anyway that was my first thought when I heard about the plot outline for P.S., but that said, this story couldn't be anywhere near Birth.

It's a story about second chances, and how you would choose to seize this chance to make up for what you didn't do the first time around. On a more personal note, it reminded me of what I did once, doing something which I didn't do initially, but here opportunity was presented with someone else, not as a substitute though, but it served as a catalyst to not allow things to not happen, but to take that leap of faith and give it a shot. Didn't turn out the way I wanted, but I guess I should be satisfied that I tried.

Louise Harrington (Laura Linney) is head of admissions for an art faculty, and in an admission letter, noticed someone who shared a similar name as a deceased old flame. Breaking protocol, she arranges for him to meet, and soon enough, more protocol gets broken as she initiates a sexual relationship with F. Scott Feinstadt (Topher Grace). Which of course should set tongues wagging given the power of her status, about keeping persona and business separate, about that lack of professionalism and danger of mixing business with pleasure.

But there are no lack of stories about a younger man falling for an older woman, and earlier this year, we've seen Uma Thuman in Prime in the same boat as well. Here though there is a distinct lack of humour and frills in storytelling, as the dry delivery befits the theme and character of Louise as she constantly, and perhaps unconsciously, pities herself and warrants the same pity from others. And it is the breaking out of this mould and mindset that keeps the narrative together in an exploration of how, despite Louise learning about how her marriage to her ex husband, Peter Harrington (Gabriel Byrne) broke down. Making matters worse is her best friend Missy's (Marcia Gay Harden) meddling into her personal business, with a revelation making you wonder why she hasn't turned into a fiend instead.

I've actually watched this movie not because of Laura Linney, even though she carries this movie on her shoulders, and that her Louise character is the central figure where things revolve, and characters interact around. Rather, it's more for Topher Grace, whose performance I enjoyed in In Good Company (his character there I could relate to), and keeping in mind that he did this movie first. Next up would probably be his biggest commercial challenge yet, as he takes on the role of Eddie Brock / Venom in Spiderman 3.

P.S. is actually a postscript, and here, the characters are afforded that little extra to add on to their past history, to be accorded that moment in the present, to make amends and salvage a past they are ashamed of. The pacing might be trying for some, but it still makes for satisfying viewing if you're in the same boat looking for your own P.S..

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