One moment can change a lifetime. Shots ring out and the early morning tranquility of a diner shatters. As survivors pick up the pieces, they find themselves transforming in the most unexpected ways as they cope with the a... more »ftermath. One brief moment and their lives are changed forever. Featuring an all-star cast including Kate Beckinsale, Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, and Academy Award winners Forest Whitaker (Best Actor, The Last King of Scotland, 2006) and Jennifer Hudson (Best Supporting Actress, Dreamgirls, 2006).« less
Psychological drama about how one horrific act of violence leaves so many fragments behind, and about how the various characters attempt to piece them together. Very much like "Crash," except the audience already knows how the characters' stories are connected, so it is like "Crash" in reverse, I guess. Violent at times, some sexual content. May leave a few questions unanswered.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Unpredicted Terror, Unexpected Consequences
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"FRAGMENTS (AKA Winged Creatures) is an uncomfortable movie: the subject matter of spontaneous unsuspected violence and the subsequent impact on the lives of those who survive a near death situation is terrifying. FRAGMENTS takes a moment in time and then reveals how that moment alters the psyche and behavior of numerous people from children to adults. It is disconcerting to watch, but at the same time it makes us face the possibilities of how isolated cracks in the universe can alter our lives. As the tagline suggests 'You have to lose your way to find it.'
The film opens with a day in a Los Angeles diner where a gunman enters and randomly opens fire on the customers at the tables and the staff serving them and then kills himself. We are forced to watch this happen but through the eyes of the people attempting to dodge the attack. Among these are a waitress (Kate Beckinsale), a man seated at the counter being denied attention as he glances at his new brochures on dealing with cancer (Forest Whitaker), a doctor (Guy Pearce), a young girl (Dakota Fanning) who witnesses the murder of her father, a young boy (Josh Hutcherson) whose terror results in his becoming mute, among others. The film then abruptly clips to the fragments that remain - the lives as being lived by the survivors as well as their families - a cast of brilliant cameos by Jeanne Tripplehorn, Jackie Earle Haley, Robin Weigert, Jennifer Hudson and Embeth Davidtz. While none of the characters seem to be people about whom we would care under normal circumstances, the fact that the writer and director (Roy Freier and Rowan Woods) have placed us in the midst of the initial incident allows us to watch the strange transformations that happen to these people as a result of being struck by post traumatic stress - maladaptive behavior toward spouses and children, hiding behind becoming an instant religious zealot, gambling as a disease, and the other splinters the impact of murder and suicide observed at close range can cause. Very little is resolved by film's end but the film does force us to witness something that could happen to any of us and make us re-evaluate our values and abilities to cope with trauma. This is an ensemble cast film, strongly projected, and if the producers and creators of the film merely allowed us more time to get to know each character better the film probably would have been a success in the theaters instead of going straight to DVD. A provocative work. Grady Harp, August, 09"
Was pleased with the overall performances...bare bones DVD t
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 08/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There have been inevitable comparisons to a slew of other films for this one, but in the end it manages to convey its own little message of loss and PTSD fallout (in various age groups).
The four main story lines and one subplot of a restaurant shooting are mixed into a time line of flashbacks and present day tapestry. For me, Dakota Fanning was the central character and had the biggest epiphany moment at the end, so I think fans of hers will be pleased. Forest Whitaker stumbled onto the set from his last four films of a similar nature, so I rate this on a higher element because of the editing alone, maybe the music and the moment of clarity given to the central story at the end. Since Kate Beckinsale's and Guy Pearce's characters were both totally unlikeable and despicable, I have to call this a Fanning film again.
The sound and picture are solid, but the supplement was inconsequential. I did listen to most of the commentary, but it was one of those that underwhelmed me. Four stars for the film itself, I feel a very worthy watch. Honestly, the reviews I read about re-analyzing the story and content do a disservice, without divulging too much I think you will get something out of this film. Once again a teen outshines the adults in a tapestry film; from Man on Fire to Hounddog to this - she proves her talent."
21st century life
Michael A. Scheurich | California | 08/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found this movie very challenging to understand. It requires a knowledge of psychology, suburbia, Los Angeles, the drug industry, county run health organizations, a gambler's mentality and modern day cults. But one thing was clear and that is how tragedy can affect different people. The Title of the movie makes it clear if you listen to what Dakota Fanning said at the end. The message of the movie becomes obvious: " In the ordinary world we trust where things belong. Everything has a place and believing in that makes us innocent... we find and lose our way. Endings are beginnings and moments are like pieces that fit together again. "
Arnita D. Brown | USA | 03/14/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In an ordinary day, a deranged man has a rampage in a diner and randomly shoots the costumers. The survivors of the tragic episode are deeply affected by the shooting and have the most different reactions: the youngster, Anne Hagen, becomes popular at school telling her version of the shooting; her friend Jimmy Jaspersen becomes mute and closes himself to the outer world; the waitress Carla Davenport neglects her baby and has several vulgar relationships with men; Dr. Bruce Laraby loses his self-confidence and tries an experimental treatment to the migraine of his wife; and the compulsive gambler Charlie Archenault believes that he is lucky in the game and gambles all his money but he has a jinx. This movie moves between its stories just as well as the higher-budget, more mainstream ensemble pieces, transitioning very well without ever killing the mood with a sudden shift. The movie's score adds to this , as it keeps the same feel throughout the movie, giving this movie an unchanging pace and mood, so even though you're watching a bunch of stories at once, it's one wholesome experience. "Fragments" is not for everyone as it is a tough movie to watch. I enjoyed the psychological drama of this movie. "