I stumbled on this film--because there was nothing obvious that made it look like a film worth your time. It's a film with a lot of misplaced evaluations. For instance, Jennifer Lopez was nominated for a "Razzie" award but the film shows a very fine effort from the lady. Again some comments on the photography infer the late cinematographer Piotr Sobocinsky has done a shoddy job because obvious Toronto landmarks appear in a film set in Chicago. This again is a fault of the Director and editor, not the cameraman who was one of the finest in his business (Kieslowski's "Dekalog" and "Three Colors--Red"). An intense viewing of the film affords the viewer to appreciate the opening shots, the alley shots, and the corridor shots that evoke feelings. It is quite different from the typical Hollywood camera-work.
There are flaws in the film. The film jumps to situations without a build up--Catch appears on a life saving situation, seemingly out of nowhere; two beers appear on Catch's table in the restaurant, without him ordering the second; no mention is made of why Catch chose this name; etc.
Yet despite those faults the film sails through as fine entertainment because of fine believable performances from Caviezel, Lopez, Sonia Braga, and Shirley Knight. The casting of these four was perfect (thank you Lopez for insisting on Caviezel!). The film is great entertainment because the film refrains from sex and promotes fine values--including family values, reconciliation, dealing with bereavement and doing good to make a better world. How many films are brave enough to deal with such subjects today without depicting sex and violence?
The film touches on subplots that could have been fleshed out--Catch's lonely neighbor who invites him share a pizza, Catch's friend who recognizes him at the restaurant but Director Mandoki clearly steers clear to present the two psychologically wounded persons and their healing by coming together through a sheer accident. The film may be very Christian in character but it presents a very secular, humane scenario that will uplift any viewer. Though unevenly woven, the film has several sequences that show Mandoki has fine capabilities. One only wishes he took greater care of details.
Flaws apart, the film is above average cinema that the publicity has shrouded by misplaced evaluations.
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