Feature Film review
Written by: Rob Levinson | Directed by: Rob Levinson | Genre: Drama
Starting off with what looks like a normal day, a pilot heads off to work... and things will never be the same. We're introduced to an ass of a man, Paul Lavigan (John Campeau) who hosts a local radio show and thinks he's on the verge of some real success. So often it's the arseholes who get the notoriety. Paul exclaims that it's Sept 11th, 2001 and the day is about to begin.
A woman calls into the talk show, wanting to wish her husband a happy birthday; something that Paul usually doesn't allow, but she's managed to get through on this slower than normal day. The woman, Lorelai (Amy Thomason) is on her way to work and in the elevator while she is calling when the unthinkable happens. The first plane hits the tower and like so many others, Lorelai is trapped inside.
Things quickly escalate and Paul decides to keep Lorelai on the line, despite objections from his producer. He wants the attack covered, but what better coverage is there than being on the line with someone inside. Quickly, Paul's selfishness shifts to one of genuine concern for Lorelai, and he gets the number for her husband so the two can talk. We all know how this story ends. We'll forever know. 9-11 changed the world and most of us believe, not for the better. Where Were You is a 35 minute film that captures the more personal moments of a dreadful time... and does it well.
Rob Levinson has kept the story and settings simple and to the point. An excellent way to handle a micro budget film, but also a way to keep such a talked about topic personal and relevant. Aside from a shot here and there, this film takes place in mainly 2 locations and is all the better for it. We all know what happened and how things changed, but it's the smaller, tragic stories that still pull at the heartstrings. Where Were You is one such possible story, and it works well on the small screen.
Even presenting Paul as a very abrasive man worked well, mostly. Showing that even the assholes of the world are capable of being better. Lorelai's character was also nicely created to represent the average American caught up in a helpless situation. The producer of Paul's show was a questionable character. I can't imagine any producer wanting to let go of a woman who was actually on the scene - it just seemed a little ridiculous. But then again, I'm not in the radio business.
Without a doubt, Where Were You has some slight pacing issues, but overall was an excellent short film covering a not so excellent topic. This is a short film that should be watched, especially now after so much time has passed. A short film that reminds us that 9-11 is not just a tragic date in history, but a day that personally changed so many lives. It's the personal losses that should be remembered, and this film reminds us of all of that. You know the story. You know the date. Where Were You reminds you of the people. Four stars and thank you for reading.
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