Title: “The Ripple Effect”

Year: 2007

Run Time : 83 mins

Genre: Drama

Cast: Phillipe Caland, Forest Whitaker, Virginia Madsen, Minnie Driver, Kali Rocha, John Billingsley

Director: Phillipe Caland

Plot: Karma can be a beautiful and mysterious thing. It is defined as ” the total effect of a person’s actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person’s existence, regarded as determining the person’s destiny.” In other words, the decisions we make in our lives now will have an adverse effect on how our lives will turn out later, at the same time, mysteriously effecting the people around us. This is one film that greatly exploits that definition.

Fashion icon Amer Atrash (Phillipe Caland) is setting himself up to be atop of the fashion industry. But just as quick as his success is practically handed to him, it is stripped away from him leaving his business and himself in a state of disarray. Now Atrash finds himself feeling the same sense of loneliness and vulnerability that a child feels when he or she is detached from his or her mothers arms for the very first time. Not knowing how he is going to escape from this devastating crisis, Atrash starts to distance himself away from everyone causing his business and his marriage to go array. As Atrash takes a deep look inside of his soul, he feels that he has found the culprit to his recent misfortunes. He attributes everything going bad in his life to an unfortunate wrongdoing that he committed fifteen years prior to this day. Feeling that he has to make this wrong a right, Atrash seeks out Philip (Forest Whitaker), which is the man he inflicted so much pain on, in order to receive his forgiveness and redemption. Much to his surprise, within the short time Atrash spends with Philip, Philip opens up his eyes and his soul to a perspective on life that he has never seen or felt before, causing Atrash to experience a spiritual awakening. Karma, whether it be good or bad, can haunt us or bless us at some point in our lives. For Atrash’s sake, one can only hope that his bad karma won’t get the best of him.

Phillipe Caland is a director that I had never heard of before. Now that I have, I only wish that I could of come in contact with his work so much sooner. The reason being is because of his uncanny ability to catch every emotion that every character is expressing on film. While I was watching this movie, I felt as though I were in the same room with every character I viewed. And that’s the beauty of his directing. He plans every scene and every dialog in such a way that allows the viewer to become part of every life involved in the story. He, in my opinion, should be regarded as one of the top notch director’s in the industry.

Along with the superb directing, the acting within this movie was nothing short of genius. You couldn’t ask for a more complete and star studded cast than the one that Phillipe Caland had for “The Ripple Effect”. First you have Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker playing the supporting acting role. Then you have the beautiful Academy Award nominee Virginia Madsen who plays the wife of Atrash in the movie. You also have the gorgeous Academy Award nominee Minnie Driver playing the love interest of Philip named Kitty. Then to top it off Phillipe Caland himself plays the leading role of Atrash, which I must say, is a brilliant performance. Together, the whole cast brings an emotional dimension to this movie that is rarely felt on screen. Take for instance, the sadness that Philippe Caland (Atrash) makes you feel during the scene with Virginia Madsen (Sherry-Atrashs wife) when he is explaining to her why he is being so distant. It takes no words to make you feel this, instead, it takes only one look into his eyes.

The Obvious: This movie is about the pursuit of one man to seek redemption and forgiveness from another in order to make a wrong a right. This in turn will cause a reversal of misfortunes in his life.

The Not So Obvious: This movie is beautiful because of the fact that it isn’t such a simple and straight to the point movie as one might think it is. In order to be exposed to the true nature of “The Ripple Effect” one most know exactly what “the ripple effect” means. It means that every choice that a person makes in his or her life will act like a rock that is thrown into water, causing ripples to be pushed outward away from the point of impact. Along the way, those ripples will come in contact with other ripples that someone else has created. Now when these ripples do come in contact with one another, it is uncertain whether this contact will have a positive or a negative outcome. That is why we as human beings need to be very careful of the choices we make in our lives, because there is no way of knowing just what type of impact our Ripple Effect will have on somebody else.

The Final Cut: Phillipe Caland has proven through this film that he should be a director to be reckoned with. “The Ripple Effect” will touch your inner being as you watch the masterful acting performances on screen. The movie allows the viewer to have a sense that they are just as much of a part of this movie as the character themselves. About the only draw back to this movie is the fact that it ends so abruptly. I feel that the movie should of been longer in order for the viewer to get an even better sense and emotional connection to exactly what Atrash was feeling inside. But despite this flaw, I believe that any adult that views “The Ripple Effect” will come away with their own experience of a spiritual awakening!