*Warning: Minor spoilers ahead*
“OK, I am never pulling another all-nighter again.”
This is the thought that crosses my mind as I watch Netflix’s brand-new #1 movie, Awake. In one particular scene, a weary pastor tries to encourage a group of sleep-deprived people that better days are ahead, even though they haven’t rested for several days. But then the small congregation grows restless and seriously considers sacrificing a young girl who has the ability to sleep. At this point, I’m seriously alarmed and frightened for her, but what scares me even more is the fact that this scenario isn’t that hard to imagine. While the chances of this phenomenon ever occurring are slim to none, it's kind of terrifying to think of the damaging effects of sleep deprivation.
For those who’ve yet to see the new release, Jane the Virgin alum Gina Rodriguez stars as Jill, a former soldier who tries to protect her family when all electricity and humanity's ability to sleep are mysteriously taken away after a solar flare. But when Jill learns that her daughter could be the cure to this widespread insomnia, she begins to question the motives of those who want to get closer to her.
There’s no shortage of bloody gore and suspenseful moments in this film, but what stands out most is the talented cast. As expected, Rodriguez’s performance is solid. She steals nearly every scene as the fearless and protective mother, whether she’s trying to teach her kids how to shoot a pistol or fighting off hordes of delirious, zombie-like attackers as her own health deteriorates. Plus, seeing things unfold through makes this story ten times more fascinating because in the beginning, Jill’s conscience is crystal clear, but towards the end, everything becomes muddled and suddenly the story has a psychological thriller kind of feel.
Still, Rodriguez isn’t the only actor who deserves recognition in this film. Ariana Greenblatt, who plays Jill’s lovable daughter, Matilda, easily tugs at the heartstrings, making me root for her as she struggles to deal with new responsibilities and help her family.
While I love that this apocalyptic thriller includes thought-provoking themes, I can’t say that I fully understood the purpose of this plot. Perhaps I missed something as I watched, but if I were to try to explain the entire storyline to a stranger, I wouldn’t be able to explain exactly why these things happened. For instance, how did that solar flare cause insomnia in the first place? And what happened after that final scene? It genuinely bugs me that I still don't have clarity on these things. But even so, Awake was a decent enough watch to keep me engaged.
Purewow Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
This movie leaves a lot of questions unanswered, but the plot is compelling and it has enough scares to keep you on the edge of your seat.
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