Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The 13th Day

That's today, and it's also the name of the new movie about the apparitions at Fatima. I went to a free screening this afternoon at a Blue Army chapel just off I-90. I was really looking forward to the film; the classic "Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima" is long due for an update, and it would be great to have a contemporary version to offer people.
It would be, but "The 13th Day" isn't it, at least in my book.
(Please note: I also thought "Bella" was a bore, so my opinion may not count for much in many people's books!) Usually a trailer gives you the dramatic highlights of a movie. The trailer for The 13th Day is actually a good sample of how the movie runs all the way through: so much drama that the drama inherent in the story itself gets lost.) The spare sets, the use of extreme close-ups and slow-motion, soft focus and irregular lighting (as in glare) as a technique were a real distraction from the story. So was that weird affect of the 3-D beating heart (in living color!) when the narrator spoke of how the children's hearts were moved by the first apparition.
The narrator, in the person of Lucia, seemed to have an Eastern European accent, and her voice was not pleasant. (Every time the narration began again I found myself shifting uncomfortably.) The story plodded on, with melodramatic music trying to convince me that I was very much engaged with it. (I suspect you would have to know the story beforehand to get anything out of the movie.) I wanted to run out after the first fifteen minutes, but I didn't want to scandalize the devout members of the audience!
The portrayal of the "miracle of the sun" was well done, very much along the lines of the description given by the witnesses, but overall, I found the whole movie melancholy. There was nothing attractive about this Lucia; the young actress must have been told to concentrate on looking alternately glum, sad or pitiful. I'm sure that this is the opposite of what its producers intended, but Our Lady's message took a back seat to the overwhelming emotionalism of the treatment.
I'm glad to know that Origin Entertainment has a Fatima movie in its lineup, and Barbara Nicolosi is the screenwriter! That gives me a new Fatima project to look forward to and pray for!
Sorry this didn't turn out to be a movie I can recommend with any enthusiasm....
But enough about my view. What's yours?

1 comment:

Bill said...

As unpopular as our opinions are, I was looking for more from the movie. It had its moments, as you point out. But I think Marcelino still does more for stirring the spirituality than this one, albeit creative in the retro colorizing.