Check Engine Soon

I was watching Paul Haggis’ The Next Three Days (2010) with a friend the other day. We both enjoyed the movie a lot. It’s a nerve-wrenching thriller that had us on the edge of our seats throughout.

The film opens with John Brennan (Russell Crowe) driving his car with an unseen man, clearly in great pain, in the back seat. The camera stays fixed on Crowe the whole time, shaking along with every turn and every bump while he speeds to what we can only assume is a hospital. We hear the man in the back panting faster and louder until finally he stops. He dies in the back of the car.

The scene is later revisited (and replayed) in the context of the story. I noticed the blinking, red light on the car’s dashboard the first time around, but it was only at the second viewing that I paid closer attention to it and, quite frankly, it blew me away. In a perfectly crafted bit of audio-visual synchronicity, the red light, blinking erratically and jumping in and out of the frame, correlates to the unseen man’s gasping and, indeed, his heart rate. When, after a heavy bump in the road, the light disappears from the frame and doesn’t show up again, the man is dead.

I love stuff like that in movies. And Haggis must’ve been pretty proud of it himself, putting it in the movie twice!

(I tried to find the scene online, but no such luck. It’s a great movie, you should really check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.)

Also, I just found out that The Next Three Days is a remake of Fred Cavayé’s Pour elle (2008) with Vincent Lindon and Diane Kruger, which I promptly added to my LoveFiLM-queue, high priority.


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