Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"The entire movie is about a boring, sad man being boring and sad."

Hollywood can't leave death alone. There always has to be an upside.

Kevin Costner has been dying for years. The Postman delivered a near fatal blow and even the critically acclaimed Thirteen Days made him look superfluous, because a movie about the Cuban missile crisis didn't need a secondary character - his - taking centre stage.

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If he looks depressed in Dragonfly, who can blame him? He's playing a man who can't grieve. After his wife dies in Venezuela, he throws himself into work. His pals take him to the pub, but he won't drink. His boss tells him to take a couple of months off, but he can't leave. Even his parrot stops talking to him.

The entire movie is about a boring, sad man being boring and sad. Things happen that make him think she's trying to communicate. He doesn't go to a medium, or sit around a table with a Ouija board. He talks to his next door neighbour (Kathy Bates), who is frightfully sensible, and worries about losing his mind.

Seek the message beneath the schmaltz. It tells of another world out there, another place. The end is a new beginning. It may not be Robin Williams in a painted landscape, or David Niven and a whopping great staircase. It's where love goes and, as you know, love is good and cannot be killed.

The script needs an adrenaline rush. The non-grieving state is unenviable. Time stands still. Spooky signs indicate that the newly dead have the powers of poltergeists and the ability to speak with other tongues.

Costner stands there in a daze. He's baffled, rather than frightened.

The audience, meanwhile, has gone to sleep.

Reviewed on: 06 Jun 2002
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Dragonfly packshot
A grieving doctor thinks his dead wife is trying to contact him through his patients.
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Director: Tom Shadyac

Writer: David Seltzer, Brandon Camp, Mike Thompson

Starring: Kevin Costner, Kathy Bates, Susanna Thompson, Joe Morton, Ron Rifkin, Linda Hunt

Year: 2002

Runtime: 104 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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