Friday, 17 June 2011

Fragments (Winged Creatures)

I have recovered sufficiently to attempt some more writing while keeping one eye on the 20 20 game between Derbyshire who beat Durham and then and the no result game on Sunday who are playing Worcester. This afternoon while recovering from lunch and the morning efforts I watched the 2009 film Fragments which is also known as Winged Creatures which is the name of he novel.

A man enters a diner and starts to shoot people and hen himself. The film deal with the families of victims and the survivors. Anne known as Annie is a teenage school age daughter at the diner with her father and her best friend Jimmy who communicate on a regular basis by email. When the gunman starts to shoot the two young people hide under the table while holding the hand the father. After the event the girl appears calm and refers to the courage of her father in a Christian context. She is able to speak at the funeral and after returning almost immediate to school she shares her faith with other pupils. Her mother can barely cope and is worried by the behaviour of her daughter who after a brief interest in religion had not shown any since. Her best friend on the other hand has become silent something which his father understands. The father and Annie discourage Jimmy from having contact with the Hospital trauma psychotherapist.

It is Jimmy who breaks first attempting to take his own life by planning to fal off a high level working and then gets hold of a gun from his father and goes to the Diner, but in both instances he contacts Annie and at the first she persuades him to get safe but in the second the reason for his silence comes to the fore as he demands that she speak the truth of what happened. Her father had not shown great courage but froze out of panic and then wet himself which the daughter had tried to disguise with her soft drink telling the boy to swear not to say a word about what happened. The killer had brought the gun below the table pointing at the boy’s head but had been distracted by another customer who had decided to have a go at the killer. The girl is able to tell the truth and find emotional release and join her mother in grief and in anger. She is also fascinated by birds and their freedom hence the title of the book and we also see her father’s pigeon made free which in the book she destroy their cages. Jimmy and his father are already affected by the death of his brother who the father blames on a psychologist and with his son is therefore hostile the hospital psychologist who tries to help the survivors and their families.

Charlie Archenault is in the Diner having got a lucky ticket with gives him a free breakfast, but he is far from feeling lucky as clutching booklets about coping with cancer as if he has just had his worst fears confirmed. Having escaped with only a grazed neck he quickly goes out of the hospital and cashing whatever money he has books himself into a top notch hotel and sets about gambling at a Casino where at first his luck continues winning $100000 but then it changes and loses much of what he has won and going to the bathroom he passes blood. Meanwhile back home his single parent daughter, (I understand his wife in the book) tells people to whom he owes money that she does not know where he is. In the film the daughter learns of the cancer condition and he returns home to that fate.

A surgeon married to a woman who suffers from migraines leaves the diner before the killing commences. In the book it is 20 mins beforehand while in the film he holds the door open for the killer. Without knowing what then happens until told he is needed to operate on casualties from the incident and he accidentally cuts into the victim’s heart who then dies as he was most likely to have done in any event. The man is tormented by this and starts to experiment in the treatment of his wife’s condition in such a way that she becomes very ill but he then cures her although on the last occasion she recovers, only just.

The serving girl at the counter who although was not shot is traumatised and rejects her son turns to alcohol and men and fantasises about a relationship with the Doctor. It is my understanding that the book suggests that the event brings out issues which were always there such as the waitress resentful of being left with a demanding child, was rejecting of the infant beforehand, while Jimmy was as much affected by his aggressive father who was physically violent towards his mother as the incident itself. The waitress is played by Kate Beckinsale and Charlie’s daughter by Jennifer Hudson. The individual performances were convincing and formed a whole which I found thoughtful and moving.

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