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Personal Effects (DVD Review)

12 Apr, 2009 By: Erika Carmona

Personal Effects

Prebook 4/14/09; Street 5/12/09
Universal/Screen Media
$24.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for language, some violence and disturbing images.
Stars Ashton Kutcher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates.

Life to Walter (Ashton Kutcher) is colorless and meaningless. He wanted to go to Iowa and wrestle in the NCAA, but his dreams crash down around him after his twin sister is raped and brutally murdered. Now his only goal is to see the man who killed his beloved sister put behind bars. 

He devotes his tormented and miserable life to finding answers, but instead he discovers Linda (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is torn apart by the loss of her alcoholic husband who was shot to death after a night of drinking.

Personal Effects takes a deep look at the lives of those who are left behind after a tragedy. As stated by the narrator, Linda’s deaf-mute son, “[It’s] about waiting for someone you know will never come back. About that time spent waiting and the people you meet in the waiting room.” 

After a series of encounters, at group therapy meetings and at the courthouse, Linda and Walter find themselves growing closer, healing each other’s emotional wounds. The characters learn to come to terms with their losses, but when one of them tries to change fate, the story is driven to a higher emotional peak.

Although the story might sound familiar and unoriginal, Personal Effects still deserves a chance. It’s actually quite amazing that this film never made it to theaters considering its cast of household names such as Kathy Bates, Pfeiffer and Kutcher, who delivers his most honest performance  yet. Even though his character is a man of few words, his expressions are powerful.

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