Hayden Christensen in Awake (2007)

A Lot of Heart

Clay Beresford (Hayden Christensen) is a billionaire businessman with a beautiful girlfriend, Sam (Jessica Alba). Trouble is that Clay's mother Lilith (Lena Olin) is a controlling woman who Sam works for as a PA and they are keeping their relationship a secret from her. That is until his friend Dr Harper (Terrence Howard), who saved Clay after he had a heart attack, says he needs to stop wasting time and not just confront his mum with the truth but marry Sam. It is because of his failing heart that Clay is waiting for a heart transplant and whilst his mum wants a top surgeon to perform the surgery Clay insists Harper does it. But when a donor heart becomes available on the night he marries Sam, Clay is prepped for surgery and given the anaesthetic it doesn't work and he finds himself awake alert to pain but completely paralyzed on the operating table unable to tell the surgical team of what is going on.

The opening to "Awake" gives us some facts about how many operations there are in a year but then mentions that for some the anaesthetic doesn't work leaving the patient paralyzed but fully aware of what is going on and it is a horrifying scenario especially when I think about how I would have coped if I had been awake during a surgery I had. Of course being awake during an operation is a big part of the movie "Awake" but before we get there we get quite a set up as we have a young billionaire, the hot girlfriend who becomes his wife, a controlling mother and of course a heart condition. To be honest whilst you know the story is heading to the operation table and Clay being awake during surgery you don't know for sure where it will end up.

Jessica Alba in Awake (2007)

But that is where I am going to leave it because what happens next is where "Awake" gets interesting and to be honest horrifying thanks to us hearing Clay's thoughts. Okay I will give you a little more as Clay tries to deal with the pain and hearing everything we get a flashback of Clay's life; the heart attack which led to him meeting Harper, his first meeting with Sam and then another horror story starts to take shape.

So sorry for being a bit sketchy but I have to because this is a movie full of surprises which it effectively delivers. But then we have the acting and this is where things get curious because let me say not a single actor puts in anything but a decent performance with at times it feeling like the actors have been chosen as much for their looks as their acting skills. As such it has to be said that Jessica Alba looks ridiculously attractive throughout although her performance is solid. But the thing is that "Awake" isn't a movie which needs huge performances as it is all about the story, the twists and it is those things which keeps you entertained.

What this all boils down to is that "Awake" ends up in truth a surprisingly captivating drama with a nice series of twists to keep you watching and second guessing how it will end.