Cinerama: Chasing Liberty

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Cinerama

Chasing Liberty

By Mike Derderian

Liberty was first raped in Palestine half a century ago by blood thirsty Zionists. Arabs never avenged her honor, which by now is nothing but washed up ink on a torn piece of paper. Two years ago she was raped in Iraq by new world order reformist, who think just because we learned the English language it means we covet their decayed culture.

Naked, ashamed and vanquished, she lies in the dark room shackled to a rusty bed. A tear suddenly slides over her swollen and bruised rosy cheek until it reaches her half torn quivering lip.

Surrounded by poisonous and treacherous serpents, she awaits a knight-in-shining-armor to save her from her captivity. But alas, Arthur and Lancelot are dead, and no one has found Excalibur since it was flung deep into the sacred lake.

Nowadays, the eyes are once again aimed at our dear Liberty. Will she endure the sadistic rituals of rape once more! Blood, abhorrence and anguish all part of the rituals that are practiced by international merciless cruel men, whom would make Marquise De Sade shudder in fear and revulsion from their perverse practices. Will she give in for the Star Spangled Knight without a fight, as lecherous servants and fierce hounds silently watch, or will she kill herself before a hair of her gentle body be touched?

Ever since the term democracy slipped (Er…was forced?) into our history books, we Arabs have been chasing Liberty in the wrong way. Maybe liberty doesn’t want to be chased in the first place; maybe she needs more time to get accustomed to our lifestyle.

Anyway, enough about that and lets continue with this week’s film, Chasing Liberty, starring Mandy Moore and Matthew Goode.

Anna Foster (Moore) is the American president’s daughter. So you could imagine the publicity attention she gets whether on a normal day or during a diplomatic mission with her father. Now, in addition to being in the spotlight all the time, Anna cannot stand the strict rules set by her not-know-it-all father. A role even George W.Bush would have got easily had he auditioned.

Bush however lost the role to a handsome Mark Harmon, who would have brought out his usual on screen charisma into Chasing Liberty had he been given enough lines. If you remember the 1991 detective Television series Reasonable Doubts that aired on Jordan TV then you’ll know what I mean.

Unlike her other on screen personas, like in A Walk to Remember and Saved, Moore decided to give the first daughter a more upbeat, liberated and vibrant persona.

Anna is like any other girl seeking freedom from a strict father figure but in her case it is about a girl who wants to experience life beyond the White House walls and away from the prying eyes of secret service men.

Now the aforementioned plot has been overused in Hollywood, so you might ask: Why should I watch this film?

Well, believe it or not, Chasing Liberty is more of a sugar coated philosophical film presented to us through the un-galvanized chemistry of both Anna and Ben Calder (Goode)—an English young man who helps her evade her father’s secret servicemen while on a trip in Prague—than a pure romantic comedy that was shot entirely in Europe.

Before they bungee jump together off a bridge in Austria, Calder asks Anna, “So if you’re scared, why do it?”

“Because the things you’re scared of are usually the most worthwhile,” answers Anna gently to Calder, who appears to be satisfied with her answer. So should you.

During her fumbled gateway through Europe with the help of Calder, whenever Anna meets with strange people she tries to transmit the image of the bad girl looking for fun; however, the word naïve, innocent and childish are the words more likely to describe her behavior.

More than any other thing the film highlights European architecture and Europe’s exquisite natural scenery, to a degree that you’ll think you are on a brief, yet enjoyable, Euro-trip.

Jeremy Piven and Annabella Sciorra’s tongue and cheek performance and on screen relationship as the secret agents Alan Weiss And Cynthia Morales, who are following Anna across Europe, for a brief moment will appear more interesting than the relationship brewing between Anna and Ben.

A simple plot, nice upbeat soundtrack and great sceneries are the elements you’ll find in this two-hour film. However, if you are looking for deeper messages that go beyond the life of a teenage girl, you’ll be disappointed so just watch it.

Chasing Liberty maybe slow in pace until the end, nevertheless,

Moore’s cuteness opposite Goode’s looks will make it another teen film, which happens to be quite enjoyable, aimed at teenager boys and girls with big dreams of travel, meeting people and finding love.


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