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"Day Zero"
Reviewer:
Grady Harp
Studio: First Look Pictures
Genre: Drama
Release:
February 26, 2008
Special Features:

Cast: Elijah Wood, Jon Bernthal, Ally Sheedy

Written by:Robert Malkani

Directed by :Bryan Gunnar Cole

Review:

The Draft as a means for supplying the armed forces with manpower ended with the Vietnam War. DAY ZERO is a thought provoking film that raises the question of how today's youth would respond were the Draft reinstated as a result of the ever-growing Iraq War. Writer Robert Malkani and director Bryan Gunnar Cole respond to the question by creating three characters, long time friends, but each with a different response to the forced servitude in a wartime situation. As with any film dealing with controversial subject matter there are ideas presented that will disturb just about everyone no matter their stance on compulsive servitude, and it is that aspect that makes this film work so well in jolting our thinking.***

The time is New York, now, and the media has just announced the reinstatement of the Draft to cope with the drained national volunteer army. Three friends receive their draft notices simultaneously: successful lawyer George Rifkin (Chris Klein) whose marriage to a cancer survivor wife Molly (Ginnifer Goodwin) is part of the solid state of life he resists changing; fantasy writer Aaron Feller (Elijah Wood) who is in progress on a novel he must finish while his life is otherwise rather on shaky ground, controlled by his loopy therapist (Ally Sheedy); cab driver James Dixon (Jon Bernthal) who has a past history of being a loner and attempting to control violent behavior. The gamut runs from refusal to even consider the draft (Rifkin) to being nonplussed by the disruption to his psyche (Feller) to gung-ho ready to fight Dixon. The three young men have thirty days to Day Zero and in those thirty days each undergoes profound changes and introspection and self-discovery that very keenly illustrates the effect that such a governmental edict can have on today's youth.***

This is ensemble acting that rivals that of any fine film: there are no stars here, only actors portraying emotional changes that are universal in nature. And for a first film by director Cole it succeeds on most levels. In addition to the work of the four main actors there are fine cameos by young Sofia Vassilieva and by Elisabeth Moss. The film is meant to raise questions, challenge our current complacency and our views of the concept or war and military obligation. That it is disturbing is part of the power of the work.***

Final Words:

The film is meant to raise questions, challenge our current complacency and our views of the concept or war and military obligation. That it is disturbing is part of the power of the work.***Grady Harp, March 08

 

 
 
 
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