Sliding Doors (1998)

(On VHS, September 2000) Funny how this film can appear to be many things to many people: Romance, Drama, Philosophical Exploration, Fantasy, Science-Fiction or plain old Experiment. In any case, the film follows the adventures of a young woman (Gwyneth Paltrow, in a good turn) whose life is affected in a tiny way that has dramatic consequences. The narrative alternately follows two different paths from that nexus point. Alternate universes? Plain fantasy concept? Whatever the justification, the script is well-written, and if there aren’t as many inter-linking between the two universes as one might have hoped, the dialogue is sharp enough to keep us absorbed in the storylines. The banter between “good-guy” and “bad-hair heroine” is particularly interesting. The conclusion is a downer, though it’s hard to say how else the film might have ended in order to wrap everything up. The French video version of the film has English captioning, which allows to see how the translation loses a lot of the subtle humor of the original script. In any case, an interesting film, and one that should please many very different audiences.

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