Often times, movies are boring, and shallow with no real thematic elements. However, every once in awhile, something different comes about to change how we view life and humanity. Source Code is this rare occasion.
Before going into the specific elements which make this movie astounding, we should probably cover the not-so-goods. The movie lacks a literal plot. It is clear what the story is about but it is rather unclear how everything works. This actually makes the entertainment value of the movie fairly disappointing. The ending doesn't really make sense. Watch the movie, and you'll know what I mean. Nevertheless, plot points aside, the themes suggested in this film more than make up for its loss in plot.
- We should first go over Sean. Sean is, in every sense of the word, a foil for the Captain. It's unclear who the real Sean was, seeing as Christina never went into detail. However, it is certain that Sean is a different person than the Captain. The Captain is rational, and curious; Sean is spontaneous and reckless, living in the moment.
- One of the major themes is living life to the fullest. That is, living every moment as if it's the last. The ironic twist in the movie is that, Sean literally has 8 minutes to live every time he relives the train crash. However, this movie presents a greater sense of the beauty of life. At the end of the movie, Sean encourages everyone to laugh and have fun; enjoy life.
- Another theme is that of fate. The movie seems to suggest that fate is in our own hands if we try hard enough to succeed. The Captain relived and died the same scene multiple times, but was finally successful in changing his fate.
- The phone call to his father was one of the most touching moments in cinematic history...in my opinion. The actual storyline was 'meh' but the theme behind it was pretty moving. In the literal sense of the movie, the Captain can no longer be who he was in the real life. He must be Sean, now. However, thematically, when the Captain calls his father, it shows a change in the hero's quest, but also shows failure. He is finally able to contact his father, only to do it in second person, saying he (the Captain) is sorry, rather than he himself is sorry. This shows that Sean has distanced himself with his past, a bittersweet moment.
- One of the final things I noticed was the end scene with 'The Bean' in Chicago really framed the movie nicely. In the beginning of the movie, Sean looked into a flat mirror and saw someone else's reflection - the real Sean's. However, in 'The Bean' Sean sees himself, in a distorted manner. It suggests how life will be different now, a false, distorted reality from the one the Captain was used to. Mirrors are associated with reality, and the Captain constantly struggled with his own identity, a major side plot in the movie. As the frames pan and zoom, the view does flatten, showing stability.
Overall, this movie was beautifully directed, and it's lack of closure is made up for by it's strong artistry. If you want a movie worth thinking about for hours afterwards, give Source Code a go.
Final Rating: A
Thanks for reading,