Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Leaving Limbo

Suppose you woke up and realized you had been asleep for 19 years?

Monica was a teenager looking forward to her engagement party and a happily-ever-after life when a car wreck leaves her in a coma. She awakens to a world that has radically changed and leaves her puzzled as she struggles to pick up the shattered pieces and fit them all back together. The people in her life have moved on while time stood still for her. Can she accept things will never be the same again?

Elias Cecil, Mandy Brown, Noelle Perris, Owen Williams
Leaving Limbo, written and directed by Sandy Boikan, is a charming, poignant, funny, and thought-provoking film that isn't quite a fairy tale, but only because it is more indepth. Based on Boikan's play, My Wonderful Coma, the film touches on topics like forgiveness, regrets, guilt, redemption, restoration, and wasted years. The running theme, based on Joel 2:25, reminds us of God's promise that there is hope for our future. 

Mandy Brown, as Monica Wyatt, is fascinating to watch as she goes through every range of emotion as a young woman who awakens to find herself nearing 40 and having slept away half of her life. Trying to come to terms with things that were not common in the 80s brings moments of comedy...and nostalgia. She gives an outstanding performance as a woman who emotionally is still on the brink of adulthood yet has suddenly been propelled into a world that must feel like she is living in a dream. As former fiancee, Ben, Elias Cecil gives a great portrayal of one who has given up his dreams and grown up to be a serious, overly-protective father who has lost much of the joy of life he had as a teen with a promising future. 

Owen Williams (Wallace) does not get as much screen time as some of the others in the film, but his character is one of the more fascinating ones. As the driver of the car, he has spent 19 years living with the guilt of his actions. He reminds me a lot of Jim Carrey as a comedic actor, but both actors are also incredible in dramas.

The remaining major cast members all give strong performances. Noelle Perris is Tuesday, Monica's best friend, who also married (and divorced) Ben as Monica lay sleeping. David Fruechting gives a tremendous performance as the father who never gave up hope, and used his experience to share his faith and hope to others in a crisis situation. Lauren Montgomery as the niece who was a child in 1989, but now a woman who is in many ways more mature than her aunt is like the "voice of reason" as Monica struggles to reconcile her past life with her current one. The comic relief is Amy Mathieson as Rosa, the British nurse who has spent over a decade caring for her comatose patient and still thinks of Monica as her closest confidante. 

There is so much to say about the film, but I don't want to risk giving away any plot points. Some of the things that seem illogical to me all make sense as the film adds different layers and twists to the story. There were a couple of times when things did not quite add up for me, but not to the point that it took away my enjoyment. Leaving Limbo is one of those films that can carry heavy subject matter, but does so with a compelling story, a lot of fun references to the 80s, and a satisfying ending. It is a faith-based film, but it is a natural part of the character's lives. This movie is one that can be enjoyed by all. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend others to pick up a copy.

Important Links:
Leaving Limbo on IMDb
Leaving Limbo the Movie

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this dvd from the director of the film in order to write this review. No promises were made of a positive review.

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