Cast: Linda Hanson (Sandra Bullock), Jim Hanson (Julian McMahon), Megan Hanson (Shyann McClure), Bridgette Hanson (Courtney Taylor Burness)
Director: Mennan Yapo
Theatrical release: 03/16/2007
DVD Date: 07/17/2007
Running Time: 96 minutes
— ♦ —
Review: I can't recall exactly how I got onto the subject of Sandra Bullock when recently discussing films with a friend, when she asked what I thought of Premonition. I confessed I hadn't seen it, indeed, hadn't even heard of it. She thought, as someone who enjoys mysteries, I would probably like it. Which is how this movie found it's way into my home.
Premonition has one of those plots where it's hard to talk too much about it without giving some of the twists away. But here goes: Bullock stars as Linda Hanson, a homemaker -- wife and mother of two daughters -- who learns one day that her husband was killed in a tragic automobile accident. Yet the next day she wakes up to find him watching television in the kitchen. This begins a series of several days in which the sequence of events alters; some days Linda is living in what appears to be the future, sometimes in the present (or past). Since the transition occurs while she is asleep, it isn't clear to us, the audience, if she is dreaming of the future, i.e. having premonitions, or is she really jumping forward and backward in time.
Sandra Bullock is very good in her role here, and much of the success of the film is a direct result of her credible portrayal of someone who recognizes they are in a situation beyond their control, yet tries to control it anyway. But there are lots of plot holes here, and I'm guessing whether one likes the movie or not depends almost entirely on how forgiving they are in this regard. I bought into the character and my interpretation of the premise, so my walkaway opinion is that this is a pretty good movie -- with one caveat (noted later). It was interesting to discuss the film afterward with the person who recommended it. She had a completely different take on the movie, yet also enjoyed it. Premonition is definitely open to interpretation, which for a movie of this type is a probably good thing.
We both agreed, however, that the ending was awful. In my opinion, the film should have ended just prior to the final scene. There was some logical closure to what just happened -- better, I could rationalize everything that happened prior to it -- and nothing more needed to be said. And yet, the director (presumably) decided that more was needed. To put it bluntly, he was wrong. The DVD has an alternate ending which, if possible, is even worse. To be fair, in the commentary that accompanies the alternate ending (which really isn't an alternate ending, but an extended ending), he notes that had that particular ending been shown, it would have raised more questions than it answered. I only wish he had applied that same logic to the ending he elected to include.
Overall, though, I'll reiterate that I enjoyed Premonition and do recommend it ... as long as you are willing to accept the concept of a non-linear storyline where events in the present may depend on what happens, not necessarily in the past, but also in the future.
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