Frequency


Directed by: Gregory Hoblit
Written by:Toby Emmerich
Starring: Dennis Quaid, James Caviezel, Shawn Doyle, Andre Braugher
Released: August 3, 2000
Grade: A

Every so often, a film comes along that sweeps you up and takes you away.  Frequency is such a powerful and enjoyable viewing experience, it’s hard to give too much of the plot away without spoiling the developments and pleasant surprises.

Frank Sullivan (Quaid) is a husband, father, firefighter and fan of the New York Mets.  It’s October 10, 1969 and the Mets are taking on Baltimore in game one of the World Series.  Also making news is a rare occurrence of the aurora borealis (Northern lights).

John Sullivan (Caviezel) is a police officer who’s life hasn’t turned out they way he expected.  His baseball career went nowhere and he’s just broken it off with his long-time girlfriend.  It’s October 10, 1999 and the aurora borealis is once again appearing over American skies.

Pulling out his father’s old ham radio for his best friend’s son, John revives memories of his father who passed away thirty years ago.  The radio doesn’t appear to work and John flicks through old photos and newspaper articles and ponders on what once was and what is now.

John manages to get a signal on the radio and starts talking baseball with the man on the other end. The conversation progresses and John finds something slightly askew.  The man on the other end shares the same name as his father, Frank Sullivan, and seems to be talking as if the year were 1969.  What if...

Director Gregory Hoblit is experienced with twisting subject material given his last two films, Primal Fear and Fallen.  His creativity at mixing 1969 with 1999 is remarkable and with the help of editor David Rosenbloom, he has created one of the finest directing performances of the year.  Actors Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel work superbly together.  They manage to create an emotional father-son relationship despite not spending a single scene together during the film.

Where has writer Toby Emmerich come from?  Emmerich up until this point has been a music supervisor and created soundtracks to films including Boogie Nights, Austin Powers and Dumb And Dumber.  His script, full of magic and enchantment, comes completely from left field.  The background subplot becomes a little silly during the final ten minutes but it provides the end result that was necessary.

Frequency is a stunning film that stirs emotions and past memories without the commercialism and tackiness that Hollywood so often provides.  The opening credits and scene are smartly created and no time is wasted in developing the story.  It may not always follow the laws of physics and has a few small holes but its ability to have you overlook those minor flaws is a tribute to its power.