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Tuesday, February 03, 2004


You're going to play WHO in Mel Gibson's next movie?

I watched J. Lo's movie Angel Eyes middle of this afternoon on HBO and what I initially thought to be your typical sobfest turned out to be one fine movie about finding the courage to face one's past before they can move on (can't believe I missed this on the big screen). The story starts in a tragic vehicular accident in a bridge just outside Chicago. Police officer Sharon Pogue (Jennifer Lopez) comes onto the scene and helps the victim focus while he slips between consciousness and unconsciousness. Forward a year later and a lone man named Catch (Jim Caviezel) walks through the rundown neighborhood of South-side Chicago doing one good deed or another (like turning off the headlights of a car one careless driver left on, doing the groceries of an invalid middle-aged woman, or reminding the apartment owner that she left the keys on her door, etc.). He doesn't look for gratitude and nor does he want to talk to anyone that much. All he does is to immediately walk away after doing his job.

One time he sees Sharon enjoying a break with her police buddies in a small coffee shop and he couldn't take his eyes off her. For some reason he thinks her face is familiar but he just couldn't place where. For her part, Sharon has been working hard and quite ruthless in her dealings with various criminals. This worries her friend and colleague Robby (Terrence Howard) who tries to look after her. She's also been unsuccessful in the dating circuit. Though she isn't lacking anything in her looks there were lots of things haunting her mind to make her focus on finding love at that moment. She's also estranged from her family except for a sister who she looks out for. The problem stemmed out from the fact that she and her siblings suffered a lot from their violent father, one time she took her stand and reported him the authorities. Years later her father was released from jail and but he never forgot nor ever forgave what she did.

Their lives were entwined during the second time Catch saw her in that same shop. He saved her from being shot by a disgruntled criminal after a drive-by shooting. This instance coupled with his quiet and impassive demeanor intrigued her. She tried to squeeze any information she can from her mysterious savior whenever they saw each other but he remained stolid. Sometimes during their dates familiar places would cause bits and pieces of memories to flash through his mind, as would the sight of a neighbor's kid remind him of a similarly aged kid in his past. Eventually his silence began to get to her and after a couple of clues got to research his background. That's when she understood why and she then became determined to try and help him face his past. Over at her side, she discovered her parents are renewing their marriage vows but she wasn't invited. She decides to invite herself in deference to her brother's and mother's wishes and tried to talk to her father privately during the reception. But he repelled all her attempts so she told her story downstairs in front a camera taking videos of well wishers after which she walked away from the party after that into another surprise: Catch was waiting for her outside. He had decided to let go of the past by apologizing to his son at the cemetery and giving away his toys to his neighbor's kid. This is a great stoy of finding the courage to confront our shame and letting go of the past. We may be suffering the consequences of what happened in the past. It may not be our fault and we may have stood up to what we think was right but the thing here is we cannot run far into our lives if we still insist in carrying that heavy burden that in the first place we should have left behind early on.

* Check out also the review in Hollywood Jesus for more insightful reactions to this great movie.

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