When someone you love dies, are they gone forever?
As head of emergency services for Chicago Memorial Hospital, Dr. Joe Darrow (Kevin Costner) is a respected expert in trauma and triage. But his professional knowledge provides little comfort when tragedy claims the life of his wife. A doctor herself, Emily Darrow (Susanna Thompson) was on a medical mercy mission when she died in a bus accident on a remote mountain road in Venezuela.
Reminders of Emily are everywhere, among them images of dragonflies, her personal totem because of a birthmark on her shoulder. And then there are Emily’s former patients in the pediatric oncology ward. Joe promised to look in on them when Emily left for Venezuela, and now finds that they offer a surprising link to her. To the kids, Darrow is not a burned-out E.R. doc, but rather ‘Emily’s Joe.’ And as some of these young patients survive near-death experiences, Joe begins to believe that Emily is trying to communicate with him – from the other side. While Joe’s co-workers and friends worry about his mental stability, Joe comes to realize that he must draw on faith – rather than fact – for answers to his questions.
This described as a supernatural drama directed by Tom Shadyac and the story is quite strong. There are some well done tense moments and even one or two possible frights that may make you jump, all wrapped up in a rather touching tale that delves into the murky waters of faith and the afterlife all polished off with a lump in the throat moment finale. There’s no new ground broken here and the plot wont keep you guessing for too long… no sorry, it wont keep you guessing at all, but it makes up for it by having a story line that will hold your interest to the last moment.
Unfortunately the film makers seem to believe they have something really special to say in the story. The web site for this film rattles on about the afterlife as if they had discovered some great secret that has never been seen before. Pretentious claptrap, they should just leave a good story as just that, a good story not try and convince everyone that we should be running round children’s hospices looking for a message from our dead relatives. Sad, very, very sad. What’s worse though is that the film could have given so much more to the afterlife mystery had the director Tom Shadyac got on with it instead of constantly spending time explaining things that are bloody obvious. Come on Tom we figured out that his wife was trying to contact him at the start of the film, you didn’t seriously believe it would still be a mystery at the end of the film did you?