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Uploaded by Admin on Jun 03, 2000

John Travolta. Those two words used to send millions of women (and men) all around the world into a dancing frenzy back in the seventies. He could claim credit for the modern equivalent of the estrogen brigades (for the net crazy "X-philes") of Fox Mudler and Assistant Director Skinner. But nowadays, equipped with a paunch and that same disarming smile, he is proving himself to be more than a passing fever. Together with the great cast of this latest offering from the Disney studios, Travolta lifts "Phenomenon" (tele-kinetically, no less) above the mass of mediocre summer releases.

For doubting thomases who thought his brilliant gun-slinging portrayal in "Pulp Fiction" was just "luck of the draw", his portrayal of a simpleton with nothing but heart should re-categorise Travolta from "comeback kid" to "talented actor"; he did not allow "Phenomenon" to degenerate into "Forrest Gump Part 2". The similarities are obvious: a nice, simple fellow earns the favour of Lady Luck and does extraordinary things. Yet, that's all there is. "Phenomenon" packs a higher reality-density than "Gump". Countless scenes in "Gump" had me trying to pull wool over my eyes just to stop myself from laughing at the sheer ludicrousness. Despite the fact that going to the movies is about the suspension of disbelief, it should never be equated with treating the audiences as hoards after hoards of idiots. George Malley (Travolta), on the other hand, comes across very naturally (and believably) as a small town simpleton who doesn't know what to make of his very strange birthday "present". One flash of light and he flips through calculus books in a flash. It's not heavenly intervention, but unleashing the possibility of what the mind is truly capable of.

Yet, George quickly learns that he isn't capable of something: affecting what other people think. Small-town insecurities and parochialism soon turn once friends into dumber-than-simpleton fools; with the exception of three very well casted characters.

Kyra Sedgwick plays Lace, George's love interest. The agony of having gone through the loss of her perfect family show through her smiles. Despite being intent on keeping George at arms' length, head-strong Lace falls in love with George, with no small help from her two precocious kids. Gerard Dipego's choice of the two kids as parallels and inversions of the adults' relationship is simply brilliant. It is the little girl who extends herself to George when Lace plays the silent,...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   06/03/2000

Category:   Film

Length:   5 pages (1,022 words)

Views:   1613

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