Dragonfly
PG-13
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: +1

Kevin Costner), an emergency room doctor, is happily married and in love with his pediatric oncologist wife, Emily (Susanna Thompson). Because of a dragonfly-shaped birthmark on her shoulder, Emilys favorite decorative items involve dragonflies. But during a Red Cross missionary trip in the Venezuelan jungle, the bus shes riding is swept off the road and into the river. Although no one survived the accident, Emilys body is never recovered. Joe plunges himself back into work, finding some comfort in talking to his neighbor Mariam (Kathy Bates), a law professor who also lost her mate in recent years. Keeping a promise to visit Emilys young cancer patients, Joe discovers one boy who frequently has cardiac seizures that take him to the edge of death. Joe arrives during one of his seizures and, when the boy recovers, he tells Joe about a message from Emily. Despite professing a lack of belief in the afterlife, Joe searches desperately for meaning to the cryptic wiggly cross, the young patient says Emily showed him. Other unexplainable events make Joe question his sanity, pushing him to seek out Sister Madeline (Linda Hunt), a nun who studied Near Death Experiences (NDE) among Emilys hospital patients. Eventually, Joe must return to the jungles of Venezuela to discover the answers he seeks. Horror fans may be attracted by the advertising tilt, but word of mouth may increase the longevity of this unique story about trust and belief.

This tense, thought-provoking drama seems marketed as a ghost story, but audiences will find it to be much more. Although friends and family encourage Joe to take time to grieve for Emily, he resists their suggestions. At one point, expressing his disbelief in life after death, he tells a suicide patient to be sure there is a better place to go, but this place is all there is. But his experiences with Emilys NDE patients disturb his atheistic concepts when they talk about meeting Emily. Sister Madeline puts the concept of after-life and belief into language Joe can consider. But the film occasionally plays too heavy a hand, such as Joe discovering the dragonfly paperweight he recently wrapped and packed, back on a table. However, most of the ghostly encounters are presented in context of NDEs or possible tricks of a grieving mind, rather than occultic events. Mariam comments about her deceased mate by name, implying a lesbian relationship. Sexual content is limited to a suggestive comment and brief scene of Joe and Emily kissing on the bed. Some brief, native nudity occurs in scenes with a Venezuelan Indian tribe. In an interesting comment, a tribal leaders comment is translated as referring to a characters child as their soul. Although the dialogue contains several crude terms, older teens and adults will find DRAGONFLYs themes of belief in afterlife, faith and trust providing new avenues of discussion.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Summary
Crude Language: Several times - Mild 5, moderate 3
Obscene Language: Once - other
Profanity: Few times - Regular 3 (J, For G sake 2); exclamatory 1 (Dear G)
Violence: Few times - Mild and moderate (Bus caught in rock slide, man struggles w/orderlies, gun threat, jump off cliff, apparent drowning)
Sexual Intercourse: None, but implied by married couple shown kissing in bed
Nudity: Brief native nudity (female breast) Venezuelan Indian tribe
Homosexual Conduct: None, but female character refers to her female deceased mate
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Once - suggestive comment between married couple
Drug Abuse: Few times - beer drinking in bar
Other: Near Death Experience (NDE) frequently talked about, man sees vision of dead wife, nun discusses heaven, theme of trust/faith and belief
Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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