22 October 2011

2 Realities

Sliding Doors is a movie about a woman named Helen. Helen is trying to manage her life the best way she knows how. The movie portrays life's happenstance and also the results of living with the choices we make. Sliding Doors shows the realities of what could happen if something small like missing a train occurs.
Helen is a woman working in the public relations field. Her place of business is male dominated as she is treated with disrespect. Helen gets fired from her job for not promptly replacing the Smirnoff she took during her birthday weekend. Since she got fired Helen is on her way home where her grimy boyfriend is cheating on her with his ex-girlfriend Lydia. As Helen begins her journey home, she makes her way to catch the train; this is the point in the story where everything twists. The story now splits between two scenarios, what happens if she makes the train and what happens if she doesn't. If Helen makes the train, she goes home to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and if she misses the train, she experiences life with her lying boyfriend.
The editors of the movie portray the two scenarios by using a disjunctive editing style. Shots will suddenly end in one scenario and pick up in the other. These look a bit like "jump cuts" where a section of a shot is cut out and interrupts a particular action, but these jumps do not continue in the same story-line, but jumps to another.
As these two realities jump back and forth, they inadvertently join at the end of the movie where the Helen of one scenario dies and the other lives. The Helen that lives meets the new love interest (James) of the Helen that dies in the other scenario.
Overall, the movie accomplishes what it sets out to do in portraying the realities of "what-if," but it doesn't exactly meet the norm for a romantic comedy. The faithful love intrest of James isn't very handsome, and definitely not more attractive than the cheating boyfriend Helen had originally, and there is not much of an "aww-factor" where someone in the movie can fantasize and maybe wish they had a relationship like Helen and James, and yet the movie works. The movie engages the viewer and has him/her constantly asking "what's going to happen next." The fact that Helen's hair is different in both scenarios makes it easier identify which story-line is being told at which time. The editor does a good job with transitioning between the scenarios, I was able to follow the story-line completely the first time I viewed the movie. The movie was enjoyable because it wasn't predictable, but it also didn't disappoint the viewer.

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