Vantage Point – A Pretty Good View

Filed in Gather Entertainment News Channel by on August 21, 2008 0 Comments

You have to understand right off the bat that I lived in Salamanca (too many years ago to tell…), so I was determined to like this movie, since the main event takes place in the Plaza Major, a place where I spent many an afternoon and evening, and, okay, sure, sometimes late into the night. (What? Me? Skip class? Surely you jest!)

So, the movie starts with sweeping panoramic of Salamanca and I reminisce. Yes, there's the catedral, and there's the universidad, and there…there! There's the Plaza Major. I walked through it every day at least twice on my way to and from class (please see the aforementioned siesta-taking).

And, my, how it's changed in those XX years. Wow. They really spruced it up for this movie – the production was obviously good to this eight hundred plus year old city. Good for them. It gave me warm fuzzies for my adopted home.

Then the action starts. No spoilers here, but if you've seen the previews, you know that there's some shooting, there's different points of view (hence the title) and there's a whole lotta "huh?" going on, with a few, "WTF?" and "OMG!"s thrown in. You cannot look away from this movie.

Then, they play it again, so what you thought you knew, you realize you really didn't.

And then it happens again yet another way.

And so on…until the different vantage points all come together with a "wow" – either followed by an ! or a . depending on your, (come on, you knew this was coming) vantage point.

I'd highly recommend this movie–even though, as I was marvelling at how Salamanca has grown and modernized (Google Earth does NOT do a good job on this city – I've looked, believe me), I find out that the initial panoramic views they did of Salamanca were pretty much the only parts of Salamanca in the movie. The rest of it was shot in Mexico City – which would explain the medallions on the arches inside the Plaza Major and why I didn't recognize the streets they were running through, nor the ramps of the highways and there wasn't one tiny "Franco-mobile" in sight.

I have to tell you, I was disappointed. But not by the story. It's actually a great study in how to show Point Of View. Watch the Special Features at the end so you can hear the writer and director's (wait for it…) points of view on constructing and telling the story.

But really, take a trip to Salamanca. I like the original better than the one they created for the movie.

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