The events of September 11, 2001 are writ large in the lives of all
Americans, but for those of us who live in either Washington, DC or
New York City, they hold a particular place in our consciousness.
One of the first feature films to address those events, albeit in an
oblique manner, is WTC VIEW, writer-director Brian Sloan's adaptation
of a stage play based on events in his own life.
On September 10, 2001, Sloan placed an advertisement for a
roommate and despite the unfolding tragedy in the neighborhood, by
the 12th, he had a number of responses. Utilizing these events, he
spun the story into his first full-length play which was staged as part of
the New York International Fringe Festival in 2003. Two years later,
with members of the cast reprising their stage roles, Sloan wrote and
directed a feature film adaptation.
The plot centers on a photographer named Eric (Michael Urie)
who is seeking a roommate to share his apartment in NYC's SoHo.
The film unfolds as various individuals come to see the room
which still has a few pieces of furniture belonging to its former
occupant. Each prospective tenant has a tale to recount involving
9/11 and its impact on his life. Among them are a British expatriate
hotel worker (Jeremy Beazlie), a heterosexual who works in politics
(Michael Linstroth), a gay Wall Streeter (Nick Potenzieri) with whom
Eric shares deep conversation and a surprising bond, and a student
from NYU (Jay Gillespie).
Sloan's debut feature I THINK I DO was an enjoyable romp, but
WTC VIEW demonstrates a mature growth. Eric's search for a
roommate can be seen as a metaphor for the human need to validate
one's own life by connecting somehow with another person. It is partly
out of need to create a semblance of stability in an uncertain world,
but it is also a function of survivor's guilt.
Sloan's film, anchored by Urie's galvanic performance, is a
moving testament to the resilience of the human soul. The rest of
the cast is also topnotch, including Elizabeth Kapplow as Josie,
Eric's best friend.
Rating: A -
The DVD transfer is excellent and contains a commentary track
by the director and lead actor, two featurettes, and deleted scenes.
|© 2005 by C. E. Murphy. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.