Saturday, September 25, 2010

Moral Rectitude, the "Devil" and Chris Messina

The schemy salesman lectures.

Five people are trapped in an elevator. But just when you thought this was a random accident, director John Erick Dowdle takes us to the realm of moral culpability in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Devil” where a pre-determined gathering of troubled individuals is forced. But every time the lights flicker and electricity fluctuates, characters in this tautly written, briskly paced suspense drama starts dying. Someone murders them – one by one. And Detective Bowden (the delectable Chris Messina) is on site, not just to render a rescue, but to witness a confession that will have the impossibly adorable detective shake his boots!

It will take talent to discuss further into the narrative without dropping a hundred spoilers so I will leave it at that. What drew me into the film is its interplay of cynicism and paranoia, driving the characters into defensive tact, in the process revealing their weaknesses. I am glad for Shyamalan whose career suffered an unflattering denouement in “The Last Airbender”.

Though I have read of unsatisfied viewers referring to the film as having “fizzled out”, I enjoyed the movie. After all, movie going is a subjective experience. I particularly liked how it concluded when Detective Bowden drove the sole survivor to the station. His reaction was pertinent to the whole reason-for-being of this story. Ultimately, his salvation lies in his ability to forgive. If that isn’t a positive message, I don’t know what is.

Another fascinating day in the life of Detective Bowden (Chris Messina).

"Stay away from me," warns the salesman.

Bojana Novakovic is the serial blackmailer.

Logan Marshall-Green is the mechanic, an Afghanistan war veteran.

Detective Bowden and the superstitious security team.

Chris Messina has a lop-sided smile, a girlfriend, and 2 sons.

Chris stands 5'9". The New York native has a Best Actor Award for Robert Cary's "Ira and Abby" (2006).

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