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The Day After Tomorrow



"The Day After Tomorrow" ... an orgy of special effects.

IF IT is an orgy of special effects and a new enemy that one wants to see then 20th Century Fox's "The Day After Tomorrow" should be a film that will enthral. Forget the cold war, espionage, the Middle East and other such known problems, now it deals with a furious Mother Nature.

A topic of intense political debate the world over, blizzards, tornados and floods are the new enemies to dread. This big budget disaster film by Ronald Emmerich, the man who made "Independence Day," uses global warming as the fulcrum of the story to show utter devastation the world over. But when general logic is given up for dramatic impact, plausible incidents for infusing the human element, mayhem for insight, then one may not take it too seriously.

While the world is reeling under horrible disasters there are a few who try to breathlessly escape from the doom. And the two main figures in this are Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid), a brilliant climatologist, who has predicted that the Earth may be on the brink of a new ice age thanks to mindless global warming. His son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal) goes for an interschool quiz contest and gets stranded in frozen Manhattan. While Jack futilely tries to convince the national administration to take emergency measures to try and face the onslaught, northern America is being blanketed under heavy snow and ice. Typically the bureaucracy is blind and deaf, witha President (Perry King), who is a colourless character and a rather uncompromising Vice President (Kenneth Welsh), who pooh poohs it all.

But then what is supposed to happen nearly 100 years or later, is literally round the corner with a huge crack developing on the ice shelf in Antarctica. Which is the beginning of the worst time in climatic weather changes.Story wise once Nature's fury has been graphically shown and when ice age takes over the planet, the director has to try and wind up and also add on the human element. Which is when he does a Bollywood and shows how human spirit triumphs and how no matter what, love, affection and bonding are the order of the day. Jack knowing that his son is stranded promises him that he will come for him. Jack's wife (Sella Ward), a doctor, stays back in the hospital to keep guard over a boy afflicted with cancer, while others flee. Of course there are several obstacles in this survival process. And a small romantic angle is also injected with Sam showing a liking for a fellow classmate (Emmy Rosum) who is interested in another rich boy.

The director must have run out of ideas to put insome truly realistic obstacles to enhance the agony and drama of the situation. The film seeks to put the fear of God in man about the overuse of natural resources. Problem is, is anyone willing to listen?

CHITRA MAHESH

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