PREMONITION (Mennan Yapo, 2007)
Linda Hanson (Sandra Bullock) is informed that her husband Jim (Julian McMahon) has been killed in a car accident, yet the next morning she wakes up and finds him sitting at their breakfast nook. Over and over in PREMONITION Linda experiences this tragic week out of chronology. The police officer who told her about the accident doesn't recognize her during a traffic stop. A female co-worker of her husband's shows up at the funeral and claims to have spoken with Linda a day or two earlier, something she has no memory of. Is she losing her mind, or are their supernatural forces at work?
Frantically Linda attempts to change this foreseen future. She never knows which day of the week it will be when she wakes, leading her behavior to become increasingly erratic. Her mother fears for the well-being of Linda and her daughters to the point where she has no choice but to have the grieving widow committed. Linda slowly pieces together the events of each weekday, but try as she might, it seems that she's a helpless participant in what's happening.
Like a dramatic version of GROUNDHOG DAY, Linda is doomed to relive a terrible week until she learns her lesson in PREMONITION. Caught in a loop that brings to the forefront the rut in her marriage, Linda is forced to examine her feelings about Jim and where their relationship is headed, assuming she can save his life. PREMONITION'S way of dressing its marital crisis material in TWILIGHT ZONE garb grabs attention but looks flimsy upon further inspection. The payoff certainly isn't worth all the fuss of the narrative trickery. The framework holds interest for awhile, but it becomes apparent that it is little more than a method of disguising a pedestrian story. The mysterious circumstances aren't explained except in the most general (and unsatisfactory) terms.
PREMONITION repeatedly breaks continuity in its shuffled storyline. As I understand the film, there are not alternate realities but one predestined path which Linda finds herself in time and time again. Either director Mennan Yapo is cheating in some early scenes, something which I'll consider allowable in establishing what's to come, or the filmmaker is as confused about the timeline and universe within the movie. Continuity problems persist, which suggests the latter is the correct observation.
Despite its shortcomings, PREMONITION is watchable with the hope of greater meaning being revealed in the end. Bullock does a credible job as the conflicted Linda, who mourns her husband's death yet harbors a grudge against him because of what she uncovers during the week's proceedings. If PREMONITION had the foresight to bind its loose ends with a sturdier conclusion, it might have worked as a modest reflection on breaking emotional stasis. Instead, the film leaves the audience retracing steps in the Möbius strip of a plot and feeling like it ended where it began.