Jeff, who was a movie critic at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, gives a very insightful review¬† (above.)¬† I will add just a few personal reactions after viewing the film again this afternoon.
The movie feels very much like a play, which essentially is all that it is. Almost no outdoor footage, and no “action” scenes….you get drawn in by the conversations between the characters as they tour Eric’s apartment.
Although we might like to think 9/11 is in the distant past, this movie makes us recognize how the shadows of that awful day still hang over the United States and the mood of our nation. If we take a minute or two to reflect, we can’t help admitting how our various responses to 9/11 — invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, killing of bin Laden, drone warfare in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, growing escalation of the US fight against ISIS,¬† — have been futile. If terrorists intended to bleed us financially and psychologically, and to some extent demoralize us, they are succeeding.¬† Small wonder a presidential candidate is surging simply by proclaiming “we’re not winning anymore….”
But back to the movie/play.¬† Parts of it moved me, but by the final half-hour I was feeling too wrung out. I think it could have been ended with the scene with the bond trader, but perhaps that would have made for too happy an ending. The way it does end, however (which I won’t reveal here) left me confused and uncertain whether Eric really would recover from the trauma.
While this is mainly a young guys’ film, it speaks to us oldtimers, too, making us think of various turning points in our lives, and the roads not taken.
On a personal note, I do recall having recurring dreams about the Statue of Liberty getting blown up, and waking up feeling I needed to visit the landmark before the worst happened. So in the summer of 2004, I did make a trek to the Statue during a visit to NY, and also took the train into Manhattan to see Ground Zero, by that point cleared of debris but still just a gaping hole. The visit coincided with the Republican convention in NYC, and policemen were stationed literally on every street corner. I felt, and still feel, that my idea of America as a safe refuge had disappeared forever.