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Butterfly on a Wheel (2007)

Shattered. Feature film. (2007, 95 mins) IMDB

...one of the best thrillers I've seen in a long time...

A

s in many thrillers there are twists and turns and they are based on withheld information and disinformation. This film is no different in that regard.

During the long, boring setup, we meet Mr. and Mrs. Perfect couple. They live in a perfect house in Chicago. They have a perfect young daughter. The husband has a perfect job where he's perfect. Life couldn't be any better. That's a typical setup for this type of movie because what follows is the complete upheaval of their life.

With plans for the weekend, a man confronts them in their SUV. He has a gun and tells them their daughter is a hostage. Do as I say and she won't be hurt.

So far there's nothing in this film we haven't seen before, but what follows is different including the ending. I think it's next to impossible to predict the third act, to guess what happens. I don't see how anyone could do. For that reason, I won't spell it out here. Probably.

To show us how different this film is, our kidnapper forces the couple to go to their bank and withdraw all the cash they can. With a suitcase full of cash, he proceeds to burn it. Ouch. Since we only see part of it burning, we should know better. Here is an element of misinformation. What appears to happen, doesn't happen. It also defies logic that someone would have his hand on $100,000 and burn it. That piques our interest, because if he doesn't want money from this couple, what does he want. That forms the central question of the movie. Why is doing this? The answer comes in the end and we don't expect what we find out. You have to love it.

I've said enough about the plot.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film (except for the tedious and slow setup). It should have been shortened.

Although this film stars Pierce Brosnan et al, the film fits into the independent category simply because it's Canadian film with a bunch of non-Canadians involved in it. The result is the film didn't have a massive marketing budget, didn't get reviewed, didn't get any push. Too bad for viewers because it's a worthwhile film to watch.

Posted 2009/04/28 at 20h02ET in Movie Commentary.

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