WRITER: Christopher Dodd
DIRECTOR: Michael Greenspan
Adrien Brody is a man who awakens to find himself in the passenger seat of a wrecked car at the bottom of a steep cliff. his leg is injured and there is a dead guy in the back seat.... it sounds like one of those brain teaser questions. you know the ones with answers like, "the doctor is his mother" or "he was standing on a block of ice.".... so, what happened? well, that's what we are going to find out over the course of the movie.
what i really liked about the film was how simple it is. the movie is basically brody and the forest. there are some flashbacks/flashes, but mostly we are in the present, in the woods crawling around as brody makes his way about trying to figure out who he is, what happened and just trying to survive.
before we even get to the crawling/limping around in the wood though we are in the car with him and we are there for awhile. the director michael greenspan and the screenwriter christopher dodd (i assume it was part of the script) make a pretty ballsy decision to spend the first 30 minutes of the film in the car with pretty much one solitary character.
while you might expect five or ten minutes like this, just to set up the character and the situation, 30 minutes is really taking a chance - and it is a chance that really pays off. i didn't even realize it was half an hour before he got out of the car until i went back after and checked the time. it really feels that it is as long as is has to be. and not as long, or should i say short, as they assume our attention span is these days.
to trust himself, the script, brody's ability to carry it and to not speed things up for a short-attention span audience i gotta give greenspan a nod to, what i like to call, some big cojones film making (check out my discussions of Hunger and Greenberg for definitions of "big cojones film making").
the end of the film does present us with answers and a bit of a twist on our assumptions, but not so much so that it feels ridiculous or forced. which is another way in which i meant the film is simple. amnesia/who-am-i films often feel the need to present us with this big elaborate story that the main character slowly figures out over the course of the movie with a bunch of twists and turns.
not to say that is always a bad thing, but in the context of this slow and quiet, basically one-man-play, it works so much better the way they did it. Wrecked isn't Unknown. and i appreciate the restraint. it makes the "ah ha" moment at the end of the film completely satisfying.