Thursday, March 11, 2010


On a quiet morning in a small-town diner, a man walks in and begins shooting customers.  You never want to find yourself in this kind of scenario, but you may have thought, "How would I react?  What would I do?  How would I feel if I survived?"  Fragments explores the responses of several witnesses to such a shooting and follows their intertwining stories. 

The good thing about the movie is the feeling of seeing into the hearts of these characters.  They try to pick up their lives, but are deeply impacted by what they've been through.  The problem lies in the title: we only see fragments.  We don't get to know the characters well enough to understand their motives and reactions.  That does lend some mystery and wonder to the story, but it left me a bit unsatisfied.  I guess the filmmaker would like that: they wanted to leave us wanting to know more, rather than knowing too much and getting bored.

The reaction Anne, the little girl, was most interesting to me.  She hid under the table while the gunman shot and killed her dad.  She spoke out about her dad's bravery, and called on everyone who would listen to honor her dad and turn to God.  According to her mom, she had never gone to church much nor embraced religion, but now she was a little evangelist.  Late in the movie, more is revealed about the details of the frightening event, but it didn't seem to connect to her new found faith.

Ultimately, even though it was interesting to see the psychological reactions of each character, we never know enough about the characters for the responses to be meaningful.  Not a bad movie, but too fragmented for me.

Bottom line, 2 stars.

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