Sunday, 24 May 2015

Maggie (4/5, Good)

An innovative approach for a classic topic: a beloved one ,slowly agonizing and entering into the dark shadow of Death, seen through the eyes of the father. Bold move from Schwarzenegger. 

In a near future, the world has been affected by a plague which turned people into zombies. Slowly recovering from the aftermath, people still infected by the disease are taken into quarantine. Farmer Wade (Schwarzenegger) refuses to take her infected daughter Maggie (Breslin) to the health authorities. Her daughter will slowly fall into the darkness of the disease and loose her humanity. Wade will be behind her into that path, but to what cost? 

This is not only an original approach to a classic dramatic framework (beloved one affected by a lethal disease) but also brings a new perspective into the zombie film genre. This time, people does not convert into zombies rapidly (the opposite of 28 days later, Dawn of the Dead) but slowly instead. The story is therefore more dramatic and less scary. The apocalyptic story inner in the zombie genre is delegated to be a mere background. 

We enjoyed very much the mise en scène: it adopts a documentary style to bring authenticity. The cinematography based on a shaky camera (mainstream today) is used for a dramatic purpose and we weren't bothered by it. The story is good even if the script fails at the end ( we already know what's going to happen but...should it have been that way?). The plat of resistance? The acting by Schwarzenegger and Breslin. We see this physical and psychological transformation from Maggie mainly through the deepening despair of the father. It is a chronicle of a death foretold. Bold move from Schwarzenegger, it is a hard role. Breslin is outstanding, she is the heart of the film. 

It is with a great surprise that we saw this film. This is one of the best roles from Schwarzenegger and he can add this one to his filmography with some proud. It is a small-budget film (most of it came from Schwarzenegger's big wallet) and a good film was made from it. Too bad the ending and some clichés but it does not undermine the audacious and original approach to a classic story. 

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