Source Code is a fast paced sci-fi thrilling affair. It appears to test brains but it serves better if they are allowed to rest. It brings a big idea and the idea is interesting enough to keep all glued to screens for an hour and a half. It tries in vain at length to explain the idea through calculus and electromagnetics- is it really important? Avatar, Inception……. no one cared to think.
The Idea: Consciousness remains in body even after death and by using it we can access and even live last eight minutes of someone’s life.
Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up in train sitting next to a beautiful woman named Christina (Michelle Monaghan). He has no idea what he is doing on the train. Christina knows him as Sean but he does not know her. His last memories are of a soldier fighting in Afghanistan. The big thing: When he looks into a mirror he sees a different face. Eight minutes after he wakes up the trains blows up with a deadly bomb and everyone gets killed. Except, Colter, who finds himself in a strange capsule and a woman is talking to him.
She is an air force officer named Coleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga). She orders him to go back again in that train and locate the bomb and the person who planted that bomb. That train had already been blown but they fear that more such attacks are ahead. He had to accomplish this through a time program, Source Code, which enables to virtually take over some dead person’s body and live last eight minute of that person’s life. Colter takes over Sean’s body (a school teacher that travelled in the train that had blown up). He goes back to that train through Source Code and comes back unsuccessful. Coleen and her boss (Jeffry Wright) keep sending him back and tell to find the planter of the bomb so that future incidents may be avoided. He also learns that in fact he is also dead: died two months prior to this train incident.
He eventually does the job and saves future bombings. Source Code is a success. So what is next with him? Can he also save the passengers that had already died? Can he survive?
Crazy? A little too much? But still it works and because the proceedings are fast and the direction (Dunken Jones) is smart and crafty. Gyllenhaal plays a role which every decent actor should play well. Christina does what she had to: She looks sweet and innocently charming. Jeffry Wright looks the bossy scientist he needs to look. Vera Farmiga does wonderfully well first as a soldier than as a person with a heart.
Source Code is a smart sci-fi thriller with two spoilers: the odd logics given and the end. Just before the end, there was a frozen shot where everyone was happy and the shot was really moving. It could have been a much better ending. But the makers decided to take a step forward and which isn’t truly appealing.