Monday, May 11, 2015

I saw Maggie...

"Maggie" is a quiet, contemplative flesh-eating zombie yarn, and I suppose its trailer conveys that, even though Arnold Schwarzenegger's presence might lead one to believe it's action-oriented.

If anything, "Maggie" is an allegorical tale, about an adolescent, portrayed by Abigail Breslin, who becomes infected during the early phases of a vicious viral outbreak: the potential forerunner to those events we witness in George Romero's zombie movies or AMC's "Walking Dead".

Schwarzenegger plays Wade Vogel, Maggie's conscientious dad, and the story focuses on their relationship, even though Wade's spouse, Caroline (Joely Richardson), also figures significantly into the relationship.

For all intents and purposes, Maggie could be afflicted with cancer, diagnosed to live but for a short time before her disease takes her life. However, there's the imminent danger of what Maggie will become once her disease reaches fruition, and it then comes down to how she should be terminated before she turns inhuman. 

Maggie's condition is a great burden on Wade's shoulders, one which he takes with honor and dignity, and most folks within his rural community are sympathetic to the situation, such as Dr. Kaplan (Jodie Moore) and the local law enforcement (J.D. Evermore and Douglas M. Griffin). However, as Maggie's condition worsens, Wade is urged to take action. Should he deposit his daughter at an isolation facility to die or administer her death himself?

Schwarzenegger's performance is wrought with subdued dread and a humble need to do what's right. In many respects, like his daughter, he's in a no-win situation. One can't help but feel for him and his family. 

Thanks to writer John Scott 3 and director Henry Hobson's careful handling of the subject matter, "Maggie" becomes identifiable, for sooner or later, we must all come to terms with a loved one's passing. How Wade and Maggie cope with the situation is what makes the film memorable. It also makes "Maggie" more than a gruesome rehash (in fact, there's hardly any carnage in the film), choosing instead to fill its minutes with tender characterization.

Produced by Schwarzenegger (along with Mathew Baer, Colin Bates, Joey Tufaro and Trevor Kauffman), "Maggie" is likely to gain attention if only due to its mega-star's inclusion, which is good, since it's current release is unfortunately limited. All the same, the movie is destined to find a larger audience down the line. By injecting compassion into an unsettling scenario, it manages to defy expectations, becoming what few of us would have dared anticipated: a strange but touching family drama. 

No comments:

Post a Comment