This is another great movie by Canadian director Atom Egoyan. I have been following his career for a long time. He has directed some the films that really affected me as a young guy when I started to attend art houses regularly to enjoy good films. The first movie I saw from him was “Family viewing”, (1987) a story about family dysfunction, voyeurism and technology. The next film I saw was “Speaking parts” (1989) this film blew me away, it was the first film I saw that discussed the idea of communications and emerging technologies were going to change our lives, it could make us closer in a global way, even before the word global was used in our daily vocabulary.
After that I saw the “The adjuster” that I consider perhaps today his best film, which I highly recommend. Other titles like “Exotica”, “Ararat” and “Where the Truth Lies” are excellent films as well.
“Adoration” in many ways continues the discussion of some premises presented in Speaking parts, (1987), the concern was; how technology produces severe impact on society as Atom describes it in the DVD interview, broadcasting technology was back then out of peoples’ control. Today is a completely different situation, people can broadcast anything they want using all the available formats and tools, youtube, facebook, blogs, with videocams and cellphones. The operation becomes trite and after our bedazzlement with technology now what? Where is our humanity?
The movie utilizes a complex narrative in which basically two stories become intertwine, both stories have a mixture of fiction and reality and they tend to operate in the realms of sensasionalism at least temporarily, this is while people still have an interest in them.
The main character, Simon, is about a teenager that becomes infatuated about a particular story that involves terrorism in its early manifestations at least the way we know it today and the extent of how a terrorist can destroy even his own family for the sake of that particular mission.
Simon starts to connect the terrorist story that he heard in his French class with his own personal tragedy due to the lost of his parents in a car accident. He begins to question certain facts after his grandfather, in his dying bed, while Simon records the scene with his cellphone, gives Simon his version of his parents’ demise. Simon begins to tell the terrorist story as a monologue part of a drama class exercise. This by the way, is encouraged by his teacher, who happens to play a really important and catalytic role in the film. He also equates the terrorist act of a man sending a bomb inside his pregnant girlfriend’s carry on luggage, unbeknown to her of course. Simon relates the fatherly roles and thinks his father killed his mother on purpose. It is a complex story beautiful told, greatly edited that exposes the fact that even after all the sensationalism that technology and media can produce, there is still the human factor that we need to contend with and there are still objects in the world that their physicality means a lot. People and objects are causes for adoration.
Great acting from the kid who plays Simon (Devon Bostick), the teacher played by one of Egoyan’s favorite actresses, Arsinée Khanjian. The brother that takes care of Simon after his parents death is played by Scott Speedman, a hard and somber character, remember Ben In the TV show “Felicity”? I think he is working his way to become a really good solid actor in the more serious world of the so called “independent cinema”.