Friday, February 08, 2008

The Invasion DVD

It's not a new concept that movies speak truth to us on a hidden level. Some are so blatant, others more subtle. I can't decide after watching The Invasion which point it's trying to get across. There's a couple different ways you can take the message that this film sends out. A few noticeable themes to me were exchanging human will and emotion for peace and conformity, the decline of human emotion due to an over-medicated society, and the dangers of when a group feels it's their job to "fix" people and make them just as they are. (I'm also wondering if there's a hidden connection between Nicole Kidman in the lead role as a woman refusing to become one of the infected, and Tom Cruise's mission to recruit people to Scientology. Makes me wonder.)

So, about the film. An alien substance finds it's way to earth courtesy of a space shuttle that explodes while returning to earth. This alien goo, when touched (or ingested) enters your blood stream and literally sucks any human emotion out of you while sleeping. In other words, you're not yourself anymore. You have now become one of the infected, one of "them". Sound familiar? That's because this is a modern take on the classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In The Invasion, the virus starts in Washington DC, and spreads from there. Since it was filmed in DC, it's interesting to see the nation's capitol as a backdrop for this terror that's sweeping humanity. The only hope lies with psychiatrist Carol Bennell (Kidman) and her son, who happens to be immune to the alien virus. Upon finding out that the population has become infected and are trying to get her, a wild chase goes on with her running away from them everywhere from city neighborhoods to the underground DC Metro system. When realizing that her son is in danger after being taken away by her ex-husband, who is also infected, she races against time to save him, as well as herself. Nicole carries the film by portraying the paranoid yet heroic mom very realistically. As hopeless as it is trying to escape a society infected by an alien virus, it sure makes for a thrilling experience watching it on film. Some remakes of films usually come off as half-assed attempts at cashing in on a franchise. The Invasion doesn't do that at all. It will shock you, keep you holding your breath, and make you think.

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