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Where there is a Will ,There is a Way
Dec 18, 2007 10:47 AM 2204 Views
(Updated Dec 21, 2007 09:01 PM)





There are many films which keep you thrilled and riveted to your seat, building on unsurpassed tension yet in the climactic scenes they fall apart, simply because they created an unsatiated hunger. If anything, then I am Legend(starring Will Smith) has failed in this. It builds up the tension and ends with a bang(quite literally).

The film starts with a scientist(Emma Thompson) finding a cure for cancer, by mutating the measles virus to act as an antibody. But soon within a short gap, dreading complications seem to hit the people on whom the drug was administered. They started dying. Although the administeration of the drug was stopped, yet the damage was done. It spread through airborne and contact methods to act as the new epidemic with violent proportions. Those who had immunity a bit stronger, survived yet developed a total rage like existence, where they had nothing to fear except light and everything to trample and vandalize upon. The social devolution seemed to be complete. They feed on anything to get on hand and leave nothing. Yet they return to dark crevices and rooms, homes at the crack of dawn.

Present day, New York 2012, Robert Neville(Will Smith), is a scientist and colonel in the now defunct US.Army, and apparently the only man still uninfected. He roams along with his only companion a dog, Sam in the streets of deserted New York in the day time and with the last lights of setting sun he returns back to his home, with all the vigils shut and secure. In times when he doesnt go on for game hunting(possibly the wild animals have been let loose by the apparent lack of humans from the zoos), he goes to his lab to fight a losing battle. He is experimenting with cures for the apparent disease, albeit with not much leeway. He is maintaining a seemingly well to do, biological lab in his basement, and runs animal trial of his drugs on the rats. In the daytime, when he roams he broadcasts on th AM radio for any sign of uninfected people out there.

Neville sedately strolls in the days and is worn out. Worn out from the apparent loss of his near and dear ones and worn out from the apparent loss of anybody remotely human. Worn out from the repeated failures of his cure.

With this as the premise of the story, it very much looks like movies like 28 days later and The night of the living Dead and stuff like that. Yet this is precisely where the similarity ends, if any present. Although the other movies show unabated gore and cannibalism, this movie comes out as a relief and in fact concentrates on the plot lines and the conflicts with one self. If the other movies are of the slasher genre then this film comes across as a cross between noir and thriller. Will Smith delivers yet another punching, power packed acting performance, with nobody to exchange dialogue with. He emotes almost heart tuggingly as he makes you feel his despair and frustration at his situation where he has no human company to keep. He walks around to the manequins and greets them just like another human. He has seens *Shrek *around a million times and can throw dialogues perfectly synchronised with accent and style. All these and much more just underlie how good an actor he really is.

But if a movie is consisting of two parts, planning and execution. I will give it an absolute 10 on the excution part. But unfortunately it falls flat on certain planning aspects. Certain faults immediately crops up in an observant mind, which seem to be directorial goofups. Yet execution is class. The film lets the tension build in admirable ways, at times with "what lurks beyond" psychology to the "fight or flight" psychology. A perfect caper for a perfect Sunday.

The film is a clever steal from Cast Away and post apocalytpo movies. If not for a repeat view of all such classics, then you must watch it for the performance and the sets in the film.Since it all feels

familiar, it also feels uncannily believable. The message of man messing with

nature without fully considering the implications inherent is a resonant one with these times. And the struggle to put it back right, seems much like a personal struggle as much like a redemption.

A must watch.

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