Monday, January 28, 2008

Intentionally Cold and Bleak but Very Interesting

Idea: A man who has lost his memory tries to remember who he was as CIA agents track and try to kill him.

Why would CIA try to kill anyone? Because he constitutes a threat to the country. What if this time they are after one of their own. Someone who is one of the best killers they have ever trained? And what if this killer fights back, not rememberin on whose side he was?

As you can see, Bourne Identity is very exciting even at the most fundamental level. And the film delivers what it promises. Lots of action-packed sequences, among which some very interesting scenes are scattered.

Plot: We travel with Jason Bourne, as he discovers bits and pieces of information about his identity. The laser which a fisherman cuts out of his hip takes him to a bank vault in Zurich, where he learns that he does not have a single identity, but many. He learns that he lives in Paris, and offers Marie, a German girl twenty thousand dollars for a ride there. Thus these two misfits embark on a journey which lasts longer than they had planned. In the meantime CIA tracks Bourne and tries to kill him in his apartment in Paris. Bourne survives the assault and eludes the French police in a breath-taking car chase scene. Marie and Bourne decide to follow other leads they discovered at the apartment which leads them to an African politician who is assassinated shortly after. Then they decide to stay at the vacant house of Marie's relative in rural France, but the man and his children show up unexpectedly. They spend the night in the house, but another assassins attacks Bourne in the morning, which Bourne thwarts easily. Bourne sends Marie away with her relative and decides to fight back the people who had been following him. Using the dead assassins telephone, he reaches the CIA headquarters and arranges a meeting in Paris. He does not show up at the specified time. Instead he follows his enemies to their nest and attacks at night. There he learns that he was a CIA agent in a special and covert division. He remembers the events that led to his amnesia, but even after learning his real identity, he decides not to continue his former life, sayin "I'm on my side now." After a short but striking fight scene, Bourne leaves the safe house, wounded. He goes to a Greek island to reunite with Marie.

Character: Bourne is not an easy character to identifiy with. His loss of memory at the beginning of the movie somewhat evokes our empathy, but not much. But we grow curious, because of the way he was found, and the bank account number cut out of his hip. We understand that he is troubled, but we do not know why. We like him even better when he kicks the Swiss polisemen's ass in Zurich. As we watch him escape the American embassy, we realize that this in no ordinary man, and start to understand why CIA wants him dead. Although he is not good at showing his emotions, he shows great concern for Marie's relative's kids, which expresses the innocence Bourne re-attained as a result of his amnesia. At the end of the movie we see that Bourne failed his mission because of the children of his victim: when he saw his target with his children, he hesitated to pull the trigger, which allowed his victim's bodyguards to shoot him in the back.

Bourne is not a character that you can easily identify with, but he sure is interesting. Not becasue of the killing skills he possesses, but because of his humanity which hindered him from killing a man once he realizes that he's not only a politician but a father as well. (This is one of David S. Freeman's Character Deepening Techniques). And the romantic relationship between him and Marie is also very interesting. We feel a deep connection between these two misfits as they fight their way through the world.

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