Hearts" on DVD
The Plane truth
Harrison Ford plays
an obsessive cop in director Sydney Pollack's film about a couple thrown
together after their spouses are killed in a plane crash.
Ford is joined in
the "menage a deux" by Kristen Scott Thomas as a New Hampshire congressman
running for re-election. The last thing she needs is any kind of controversy
during the campaign - so, naturally, controversy is what "Random Hearts"
is all about.
While trying to find
out more about why his wife was on the ill-fated flight to Miami, Ford
discovers that she had been having an affair with none other than Thomas'
husband, and the two had been on their way to a secret tryst when the
plane went down.
Ford can't let go
in his search for the truth, and this leads him to barge into Thomas'
life to tell her about the affair, news she really doesn't want to hear.
bent of Ford's character means he's determined to find out how long the
affair had gone on and all the gory details. Much to Thomas' chagrin,
she's drawn into the investigation with him, and as they poke around together
they form a romantic bond that helps both of them get through what would
be for any normal human being rather tough time.
There's a lot more
to the story, of course. Both main characters also have jobs to which
they have to pay attention; Ford's trying to bring down a rogue cop and,
as mentioned, Thomas is trying to get re-elected. Both of these subplots
are important to the overall story, not only for character background,
but for the impact on their lives of their spouses' - and their - affair.
The ending provides
a nice twist from what you'd expect, in that it isn't your typical "and
they lived happily ever after" wrapup, but we won't spoil the film by
telling you how it does end (other than by mentioning that they scroll
a long list of names up the screen, of course!).
Ford delivers his
usual intense decent guy performance - which is not meant as a putdown
- and Thomas is charming as the Republican member of the House of Representatives
- and they work very well together, with just the right chemistry.
We were also surprised
to see a Republican portrayed sympathetically by an extremely biased Hollywood...
The supporting cast,
including Bonnie Hunt, Charles S. Dutton and director Pollack himself,
is well-chosen and forms a good ensemble.
Random Hearts is a
pretty good yarn, not particularly gripping, but it's a good story that
pulls you along well. There are times in which you'd like to reach into
the TV screen, give Ford a slap, and tell him to get on with his life,
but if that happened there wouldn't be much of a movie!
The DVD is presented
in widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TV's, and Dolby Digital 5.0 audio. Picture
and sound are great; there isn't a lot of surround, but that isn't a big
deal in a drama like this; it isn't as if there are a lot of swooshing
spaceships or laser beams, but there's some nice "ambient" surround effect.
Extras include an
essay inside the package, chapter stops, a commentary track by director
Pollack and a "making of" featurette from HBO. There's also a selection
of deleted scenes and, a nice touch, Dave Grusin's musical score isolated
on its own audio track. Naturally, you also get the theatrical trailer
and there are also some talent files on the disc as well.
"Random Hearts" probably
won't go down in cinema history as Ford's or Pollack's best effort, but
that's okay. It's a satisfying drama that works as intended, and that's
Random Hearts, from
Columbia Tristar Home Video
133 minutes, Widescreen (1.85:1), Dolby Digital
Starring Harrison Ford, Kristen Scott Thomas, Bonnie Hunt, Charles S.
Dutton, Dennis Haysbert, Richard Jenkins, Paul Guilfoyle
Produced by Sydney Pollack, Marykay Powell, Screenplay by Kurt Luedtke
Directed by Sydney Pollack
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