PROOF OF LIFE
Cast: Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe, David Morse
Director: Taylor Hackford
Peter Bowman (David Morse), an American engineer, is living with his wife (Alice) and building a dam in the (fictional) city of Tecala, sited in South America ,when he is kidnapped by antigovernment forces during an intrusion in the city.
Alice (Meg Ryan) immediately turns to Peter’s corporation (sited in Houston) and they immediately provide help through Terry Thome’s (Russel Crowe) services, an ex-soldier turned kidnap and ransom professional negotiator. Terry immediately takes charge of the matter, but unfortunately after few days, news from Houston communicate to Alice that they are in a hard economic situation and consequently have no budget to afford the hostage insurance. However, the negotiator being already really involved with the case; decides to keep working on it on his own.
Due to this sudden situation things become complicated since they have no economic support to pay the ransom that Peter’s rescue costs. Thenceforward Terry starts preparing himself a rescue plan for Peter with some old colleagues’ help.
While this process and plan is being carried on, a close relation occurs between Terry and Alice, a kind of opposed feelings grow between them: Alice feels attracted to Terry but she is still worried and suffering about her husband’s situation, on the other hand Terry being extremely professional with his work and having always in mind the reason why he is there; cannot avoid feeling the same attraction to his client.
While watching the film there are two outstanding senses found: impossible attraction/relation and suffering mixed, so there is a bittersweet feeling transmitted during the whole movie.
The whole cast work it’s amazing, they reach the goal of performing in a perfect and realistic way.
As an absolute personal opinion I must admit that since the first time I saw this film became one of my favorites because the opposed feelings encountered.
One of the other occurrences in the movie that seems interesting to me is that through this kind of reports/films we can see how people who live in poor and underdeveloped countries have to act in order to protect and be able to feed themselves and their family. Nevertheless from my point of view it would not justify innocent people who’s just working or trying to help them having to pay and suffer for politic mistakes or deals.
Review by IPJ