[quote_center]It’s not over, it’s never over ![/quote_center]
Would you do everything for your child? How would you react if there is an accident and someone tells you that the treatment of your child is outside the budget? Who has the right to decide what is in your child’s best interest? Do you believe that a world beyond consciousness exists?
The Lazarus Child (also known as The Last Door)is a psychological drama, filmed in an exceptional way, which tells the story of the personal tragedy of a family whose daughter falls into coma after a severe accident on the way to school. Surprisingly, I only found out about the film today after watching its trailer on another DVD of mine. A quick look up on the Internet revealed that Harry Eden starred in the film (other films in which he has a major appearance that I was aware of were Real Man, Peter Pan and Oliver Twist) which, combined with the impression that the trailer left me, determined my decision to see the film. The trailer of the film is a bit misleading as it almost convinced me that I was about to see a ghost-like story in the style of The Sixth Sense or The Orphanage – yet even if that is not the case I am glad that it convinced me to see the movie.
The first thing that grabbed my attention was the well composed soundtrack – piano that sets the mood for the film. I have noted that in several films – if the opening credits have a certain mood then the viewer sets some expectations before seeing a single scene from the movie itself. Slow motion camera techniques put an emphasis on certain scenes or a feeling of the actors. In a small hospital room, Frankie Heywood lies in a deep coma, so deep that no one can reach it. Her 12-year-old brother Ben witnesses the accident and his behavior changes – not only internally, but also externally as the colour of his hair changes from brown to blond overnight. The most logical explanation for these changes is that he feels responsible for the accident – for not looking after his litter sister more closely – and tries to overcome a feeling of guilt so strong that it causes him to become emotionally distant from his family.
The medics responsible for the Frankie’s recovery are telling her parents there is no hope for her and they can only do so much as to keep her alive. In its desperation, Frankie’s family turns to Dr. Elizabeth Chase, a neurologist who operates an experimental clinic for comas. Anyone interested in psychology and the way the human brain works will find The Lazarus Child quite intriguing. I myself learned a lot from it. If you search the net for other reviews of the film and the book by Robert Mawson on which it’s based you will note that while some reviewers praise the film, other call it cliched and unconvincing. I am willing to join the first group and recommend the film to you as I found the story touching and emotional. The excellent cinematography and the performance of the cast, as well as the moral dilemmas raised by the the story make The Lazarus Child a film that I had to feature on this blog.
To finish my review I would like to quote the plot summary released by the book’s publisher ( picked that instead of the film`s plot summary as it better describes what the story is about ) :
A neurologist defies society and the law to bring a child coma patient back to life using an experimental treatment, in this novel of hope and despair, of healing and resurrection.