The child is the father of man. In Hoblit's Frequency, this Wordsworthian aphorism
assumes a fantasy feeling in a plot that is loosely science fiction. What distinguishes
it from a typical big-effect sci-fi flick is the intense, humane depiction of
a son's love for his hero of a father.
Imagine you are allowed a trip back into the past. You are on a mission, too.
You can alter any one event of your past. John Sullivan (Jim Caviezel) has this
golden opportunity, which he utilizes to undo the events of the fateful fire on
October 12, 1969, which swallowed his father, a dutiful fireman. One day, just
before the death anniversary of his father in his inherited house, John finds
an old ham radio. It helps him talk to a fireman awaiting the 1969 baseball World
Series. Soon John realizes he is guiding his father in avoiding the errors that
are to burn him off. A scorching death is thus avoided.
As a result, newer complications set in. Sullivan Sr.'s survival results in a
chain reaction of homicide infinitum, to culminate in John's mother's cruel death.
How father and son save their family and change their destinies against all odds
is worth a watch. Sit through till the end, as you are sure to enjoy the finale,
which, in its mushy cloying cuteness, can beat hollow our predictably unpredictable
Hindi film endings.
Sure, the science fiction film does establish beyond a doubt, and beyond every
misrepresentation avidly guzzled by the swadeshi junta, that intense family love
courses along the veins of the self-centered, individualistic, blah, blah Westerners.
What makes it a fascinating watch, though, is its technical wizardry. A film editor's
delight, Frequency uses brilliant dissolves and cross cuts to show how a loving
son and his father are tuned to a common frequency across the past and the present,
to forge a different future. At times, montage frames seal two times and two realities
In brief, a film worth a watch for its technically superb portrayal of filial
love. Though the music and acting are not exactly out of the world, they support
ably the real star of the film - the story line itself. So watch Frequency before
its run is out because, unlike its hero, you are not going to get a chance to
call it back across weeks!